North America, Pests and Diseases

Canada: Latest CFIA update on potato wart – 30,000 soil samples and counting

Warm, dry fall weather helped the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to continue soil sampling for potato wart, other than a short delay because of post-tropical storm Fiona. 

As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, CFIA posts a quarterly update on the investigation into potato wart, and the latest report from October shows the agency has now collected almost 30,000 samples, and analyzed almost 20,000 of them.

“We were very fortunate this fall, aside from the hurricane, that we had really favourable conditions, so we’ve been at full capacity,” said Gord Henry, national manager for CFIA’s potato and forestry section. “We’ll be able to collect samples until the freeze-up of the ground, and we might be able to complete almost all of them.”

Members of an international advisory panel visited Prince Edward Island in August as part of its research into the status of potato wart in the province. The panel is made up of five scientists from New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands, all with experience in potato wart research.

Source: CBC News. Read the full story here
Photo: These are soil samples at the CFIA lab in Charlottetown. The agency hired approximately 70 new staff to increase capacity for sampling and analysis. Credit CFIA via CBC News

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