Published online: Oct 24, 2011 Potato Storage, Potato Harvesting, Insecticide, Seed Potatoes
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SHELLEY, Idaho-Two new infestations of the potato cyst nematode were discovered in eastern Idaho in recent months, according to state and federal agriculture officials.

The infestations are in the Shelley area, as have been previous ones found first in 2006, according to Lloyd Knight, administrator of the Idaho Agriculture Department's Division of Plant Industries. Pam Juker, chief of staff and communications director for the Agriculture Department, said the most recent discoveries were made in August and September, just as growers were getting ready to harvest this year's crop. Another discovery had been made in March or April, she said, making three infestations this year.

They were not in land owned by the same landowner, Juker said.

Tina Gresham, director for the USDA's PCN program in Idaho Falls, confirmed the infestations are in the Shelley area, but she declined to identify the fields or the owner, saying that information is confidential.

Nematodes are most often spread through contaminated soil transferred by people or equipment from an infested field. The nematodes most often affect potatoes, tomatoes eggplants and some weeds. Although they don't harm humans, they make the produce unmarketable and can decimate as much as 60 percent of a crop from an infested field.

SOURCE: Bill Bradshaw, Intermounta Farm and Ranch