Vigilance required to keep ring rot out of the UK

Imported seed remains one of the biggest threats to UK potato crop health, according to the Potato Council’s Rob Burns. And despite the Safe Haven seed assurance scheme – launched in 2004 and which now voluntarily covers 60 per cent of UK seed – having largely done its job, individual parties and practices can still put the national crop at risk. “While sporadic occurrences are recorded across northern Europe, the UK has had only a single ring rot incidence – in 2012 – since the scheme was put in place,” he said. “But the costs of clean-up from the last major outbreak here, in 2003, was £400,000, so the cost to the industry of any wider issue would be enormous.” More