Apr 23, 2007
Idaho Potatoes Bound for Mexico

Mexico has reopened its market to Idaho potatoes following the completion of a scientific evaluation, according to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Mexico temporarily suspended imports of Idaho potatoes in April 2006 following the detection of potato cyst nematode (PCN), Globodera pallida, in Idaho.

After conducting a detailed scientific evaluation, Mexican officials concluded that the isolated detection presents no risk of introducing PCN in Mexico if the United States takes the following actions:

1. The potatoes must be shipped from production fields outside the PCN-regulated area;

2. All Idaho potatoes produced in 2006 must be certified free of PCN based on soil samples taken during the growing season or post-harvest prior to export;

3. Beginning with the 2007 growing season, all Idaho potato fields must be tested before planting and certified free of PCN; and

4. Post-harvest soil samples from Idaho packing sheds must periodically be tested to ensure they are free of PCN.

The U.S. potato industry estimates that Idaho potato exports to Mexico will approach $20-25 million with the 2007-2008 shipping season.

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