US: New York potato growers victory over golden nematode

Potato growers are declaring victory in a 60 year long battle with the golden nematode. In total 300,000 acres of land have been removed from regulation for the pest.

"Our farmers truly deserve all the credit for this victory as they are the ones who adhered to rigid crop rotation schedules and conducted the necessary equipment sanitation practices," State Agricultural Commissioner Darrel Aubertine said.

He announced that 262,118 acres in Livingston County, 43,520 acres in Genesee County, and 729 acres in Steuben County meet all requirements for removal from GN regulation.

The pest free status is according to a set of rules drawn up in 2009, jointly between the US and Canada. In accordance with these most of the currently regulated areas of New york State can now be reclassified over the next few years.

"New York potato growers have been on the front lines, fighting and containing this pest for several decades," said Melanie Wickham, executive director of the Empire State Potato Growers Association. "Their hard work and dedication has protected the rest of the industry, and it is a positive reflection on New York growers to see these acres removed from state and federal quarantine."

New York is the 13th largest state in terms of potato production, with an annual crop value in the region of $65.3 million.


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