The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), in collaboration with the Prince Edward Island (PEI) potato industry, is making notable strides in battling the spread of potato wart. This effort is crucial for “safeguarding a vital component of the nation’s economy”, CFIA says in a press release issued earlier this week.
The CFIA’s engagement with the potato industry is deepening through the solicitation of feedback on three pivotal Risk Management Documents. These documents focus on critical areas such as biosecurity, seed potato production, and the management of fields where potato wart has been detected.
The insights gathered from this feedback will be instrumental in shaping the new National Potato Wart Response Plan, set to supersede the existing Potato Wart Domestic Long Term Management Plan.
Key initiatives to curb the spread of potato wart
In a multi-pronged approach to curb the spread of potato wart, the CFIA has introduced several key initiatives. A notable development is the creation of a tool designed to assist PEI potato growers in identifying areas under land restrictions. This tool is aimed at enabling producers to make informed and timely business decisions.
Additionally, the CFIA has developed a comprehensive guide for the industry, outlining movement requirements and emphasizing biosecurity best practices. This guide is intended to bolster preparedness and resilience within the industry.
No new instances of potato wart on PEI
During the fall of 2023, the CFIA conducted its third annual national potato wart survey. This extensive survey involved collecting soil samples from seed potato production fields across various provinces, as well as from unrestricted fields in PEI. While the results of the national survey are expected in spring 2024, the PEI segment of the survey has already yielded encouraging results, revealing no new instances of potato wart on the island.
These collective measures are poised to assist PEI potato growers in making crucial decisions for the upcoming growing season, CFIA says in the press release. Furthermore, they are said to underscore the CFIA’s ongoing dedication to managing and preventing the spread of potato wart.
Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Original press release here
Media Relations, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Photo: Credit PEI Potato Board