PAA Symposium: Data, monitoring help fight potato pests worldwide

Related imageEarly detection and reporting often help keep potato pests in check even if regulators ultimately don’t order eradications and field quarantines as a result. Field data are the lifeblood of so-far successful efforts to isolate and remove major yield-reducing pests in Idaho, New York and various countries, speakers at a July 23 Potato Association of America symposium in Boise said. Idaho potato grower Brian Searle said he and other growers continue to make operational adjustments, and cooperate with researchers and regulators, a dozen years after yield-reducing Pale Cyst Nematode was discovered in southeast Idaho. PCN presence has diminished greatly there in initially quarantined fields. Soil sampling, sanitizing equipment, treating fields testing for viable eggs helped get many initially quarantined fields back into production, University of Idaho researcher Louise-Marie Dandurand said. Quarantines and safety certifications, of potatoes and seeds, can help control pest spreads between countries and within regions, said Prof Jacquie van der Waals of the South Africa Department of Soil Sciences and the University of Pretoria. Read more