A Second PCN Finding Made in Eastern Idaho

Published online: Jul 26, 2006 ISDA
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A second potato cyst nematode finding has been made in eastern Idaho, more specifically in a field bordering the field where the first finding was made last April.

Located in northern Bingham County, the two fields of 45 and 60 acres border each other and, according to an update by Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho State Department of Agriclture, both have tested positive for PCN.

However, like officials have believed all along, the PCN infestation in eastern Idaho is isolated because of the more than 5,400 additional samples taken since the April detection. All have been negative for PCN except for those from the two fields.

Hoffman said additional surveillance will continue. The 5,400 samples collected and tested since April by the University of Idaho's nematology lab in Parma, ID, are for investigations involving 17 production fields, 21 seed fields, and 54 facilities.

Goals of the APHIS-led investigation include preventing the spread of the PCN, delimit the current infestation, restore lost foreign markets, and preserve current markets.

A trace of a possible seed source for the first positive finding has been completed but did not yield any helpful information. Investigation into the seed source of the second positive finding is progressing.

Investigators continue to examine other possibilities for introduction of PCN into Idaho including imported farm equipment, nursery stock, foreign flower bulbs, illicit potato seed importation, and other means.

Also, surveyors will continue to sample fields that are located near the positive detections and/or have had common equipment usage, ownership/tenants and/or fields that have contracted similar field operations.
Idaho and the entire United States potato industry are taking this finding seriously because Canada, Mexico and Korea have stopped importation of Idaho potatoes. Japan has stopped importation of United States potatoes.

Canadian and Japanese agriculural officials are planning visits to Idaho in August to review progress in the PCN Response and Recovery Program.

In addition, a survey of unassociated fields in eastern Idaho and a plan for a statewide voluntary survey are being developed.