The Canadian province of Alberta has been deemed free of potato cyst nematode (PCN). PCN is a destructive pest that lives in the soil. It is regulated under Alberta’s Agricultural Pests Act and is a federally regulated quarantine pest in Canada, as it has the potential to dramatically reduce potato yields.
With Alberta being the largest exporter of seed potatoes in Canada, this is a momentous occasion. The province being declared free of PCN, is the result of a team effort between an affected farm, the Government of Alberta, Potato Growers of Alberta, Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) programming and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
More than $200,000 in Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Surveillance Program funding was dedicated to restoring the disease-free status and helped cover costs for farm inputs, as testing requires a crop is grown and then verified disease-free.
Lethbridgenewsnow.com reports that this announcement will help Alberta regain its billion dollar industry through market access and will lead to fewer restrictions, as growers pursue new markets.
Photo source: En.wikipedia.org