On Seed, Its Buyer Beware

Published online: Mar 03, 2004
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Following the annual National Potato Council Board of Directors meeting in Washington, DC, last week, John Keeling, executive director says Canada has still not given the United States a report on its bacterial ring rot findings.

Keeling says the NPC sent a letter some weeks ago asking Canada what it had found but has yet to receive a reply.

Asked how big an issue it is now growers are serious about buying seed, he said even though it is a very dangerous disease carried on seed, it is not a quarrantine pest by APHIS standards.

"Every grower has the right through commerce to get test results to satsify themselves," he said. "If they take them out of Alberta where they had a problem last year,  a certain amount of caution is appropriate."

Keeling added that a pest doesn't get quarrantine status until its status is severe  and widespread. "When we get one, it is very serious."

He added that some U.S. commercial growers are basically in a holding pattern and need to be aware of the potential implications. They need to ask their seed suppliers to make sure things get done.