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Canada is potato cyst nematode free

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has released the results of its annual survey of potato cyst nematodes and confirms that there is not trace of the pest. 44,000 soil samples were taken from a total area that represents around 78% of the country's 2011 production range.

“We’re not really worried about it here in Ontario,” says Don Brubacher, Ontario Potato Growers’ general manager, of the pest, explaining the concern is mostly with seed potatoes destined for export to the United States.

The federal agriculture ministry’s website explains the survey is part of a Canadian Food Inspection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service joint potato cyst nematode certification protocol that has been in effect since 2007. The pest was confirmed in the St-Amable, Quebec potato growing area in 2006.

According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s 2009-2010 potato market information review, Alberta, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick are responsible for the majority of the country’s seed potato exports. The three provinces exported 75 per cent of the country’s seed potato exports between 2006 and 2010. In contrast, Ontario growers accounted for only 1.4 per cent of the country’s seed potato exports between August 2009 and July 2010.

A Statistics Canada November service bulletin indicates Canada’s 2011 potato crop was 92.6 million hundredweight, down four per cent from 2010 production, mostly because of decreased yields.

Source: www.betterfarming.com


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