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Potato wart detected in third Prince Edward Island field on farm not producing table potatoes

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has detected the presence of potato wart in a third field in Prince Edward Island. The agency issued a statement Tuesday, saying the fungus was detected in a field near two other farms where it was initially found in October 2021.

The federal agency says in its statement the latest find “was not a surprise, considering it’s common to detect potato wart in nearby fields during an investigation.”

CFIA says the find is on a farm “that does not produce table stock potatoes and does not export to Puerto Rico. No seed potatoes produced in 2021 left this grower’s facility.”

Last November, the federal government banned the export of seed potatoes from P.E.I., and the continental United States market has been closed to all Island potatoes ever since.

The CFIA further says its Potato Wart Domestic Long Term Management Plan and the potato wart Ministerial Order continue to ensure that fields associated with detections of potato wart are controlled in a manner that protects Canada’s important agriculture sector and communities.

According to the statement, “The CFIA stands firm that, based on the science, the risk of transmitting potato wart from table stock potatoes and potatoes for processing remains negligible when appropriate risk mitigation measures are in place.

“The CFIA is continuing to work diligently to complete testing of all soil samples collected in its ongoing PEI potato wart investigations and has plans in place for further sample collection when grounds thaw in the spring. This will include an investigation into this latest detection of potato wart.

“The CFIA holds regular technical discussions with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and extensive efforts are underway to provide the information they have requested to resume trade.”

Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Read the full release here
Photo: Courtesy CFIA

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