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Potato wart not detected in 2022 national CFIA soil sampling survey

By News Mar 15, 2023 | 1:16 PM

Testing from a 2022 Canadian Food Inspection Agency survey for potato wart has yielded positive results.

The national survey that involved nearly 1500 samples from 77 fields did not detect potato wart in the soil.

The survey included fields in British  ColumbiaAlbertaSaskatchewanManitobaOntarioQuebecNew Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

This is a step in the Government of Canada’s efforts to help contain and control the spread of the fungus and reassure domestic and international trading partners.

Results have been provided to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and the Canadian Potato Council.

The potato industry is the fifth-largest primary agriculture crop in Canada.

In November 2021, the US border closed to PEI potatoes until April 2022, after the wart was detected in two fields, which meant millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Seed potatoes are still not permitted to cross the provincial border from PEI.

Potato wart is an extremely persistent fungus in the soil that may reduce yield and potato tuber quality on farms. It can spread through the movement of soil, farm equipment, and potatoes from fields that have potato wart.  It poses no threat to human health.

The US is a major destination for PEI potatoes, with approximately $103.4 million of total PEI table stock and processing potato exports in 2020.

PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador were excluded from the 2022 CFIA survey.


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