May 5, 2008 - As follow-up to the 2007 detection of potato cyst nematode (PCN) in soil samples collected from two fields in northern Alberta (see NAPPO-PAS Official Pest Report for Canada dated 11/23/2007 - http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=297), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has completed its analysis across Canada for the presence of PCN in all soil samples associated with the 2007 seed potato crop. PCN was not detected, outside of the two fields from two separate farm units in Alberta, following the analysis of 19,400 samples collected nationwide.
Soil samples were collected and tested for PCN in order to meet phytosanitary certification requirements for all 2007 seed potatoes traded between Canada and the United States (U.S.), as part of a protocol agreed upon by the CFIA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) in March 2007 and renewed in August 2007.
After the 2007 test results indicated the possible presence of PCN in two fields in northern Alberta, the CFIA immediately collected additional soil samples for PCN. As a precaution, the two Alberta seed potato farms where PCN was detected will remain under regulatory control to contain PCN infestations and prevent any spread with potentially infested material until the delimitation is complete. Potatoes produced in 2007 by the two affected farms have been disposed of in a manner to prevent any further PCN spread. Although PCN has not been found in any other fields on the two affected Alberta farm units, the CFIA will continue the investigation, collecting and testing additional soil samples to delimit the possible infestation.
As a result of the recent PCN detections in Quebec (2006) and Alberta (2007), all 2007 seed potato production has been tested in both provinces. Other Canadian provinces were also surveyed for PCN as part of the bilateral protocol with the United States and this represented a large portion of their seed potato production.
Under IPPC standards, the Golden nematode, Globodera rostochiensis, is considered to be present, only in some areas of Canada (Newfoundland, and in small areas of Vancouver Island (Saanich), Quebec (Saint-Amable), and two fields in northern Alberta) and is subject to official controls.