The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has recently confirmed the presence of potato wart in two fields on a farm in Prince Edward Island (PEI). Potato wart is a regulated quarantine pest in Canada.
Potato wart disease is caused by a soil-borne fungus, Synchytrium endobioticum, that attacks the growing points on the potato plant, such as eyes, buds and stolon tips. The fungus can remain dormant in the soil for several years or more as resting spores.
The disease reduces yield and can make potatoes unmarketable. The CFIA has placed the fields under quarantine and is carrying out official control measures under the authority of the federal Plant Protection Act and Plant Protection Regulations, and as part of Canada's Potato Wart Domestic Long-Term Management Plan.
Measures include surveillance; controlling the movement of equipment, tubers, plant material and soil; and, cleaning and disinfecting machinery to prevent spread of the pest. The CFIA, the PEI government and PEI industry associations are working together collaboratively to control this pest.
The Potato Wart Domestic Long-Term Management Plan was established after an initial finding of potato wart in PEI in 2000 in order to respond to detections of the pest and to prevent trade disruptions. In accordance with International Plant Protection Convention principles and standards for determining pest status, potato wart is considered to be present but not widely distributed in Canada and is under official control.
For more information on potato wart please visit the CFIA website. Link here: https://bit.ly/2JpzYXy
Source: International Plant Protection Convention November 27, 2020 news release