Feb 14, 2019
APHIS announces additions, removals from PCN infested area

On Nov. 5, 2018, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) added a 147-acre field to the pale cyst nematode (PCN) infested area in Bingham County, Idaho. APHIS took this action based on the confirmations of PCN cysts in soil samples from a potato production field in Bingham County received on Nov. 2, 2018. This action brings the number of PCN-infested fields to 29 and the infested area to 3,277 acres.

This is the second of two detections of PCN in regulated fields within Idaho in 2018. APHIS reported the previous detection in DA-2018-38, dated Oct. 22, 2018. These two newly infested fields were first regulated in 2011 and 2015, respectively, after being exposed to soil from PCN-infested fields. Since that time, APHIS has conducted regular PCN testing of the fields.

Potatoes are PCN hosts and facilitate reproduction of the nematode. To detect PCN infestations, APHIS conducts intensive full-field soil surveys after each potato crop harvest in fields that are regulated due to exposure to soil from infested fields. The detection of PCN in these two new fields suggests that PCN was introduced into these fields during those exposures and the subsequent potato crops grown in the fields promoted multiplication of the pest to detectable levels. APHIS requires sanitation of equipment after use in exposed, regulated fields to prevent artificial spread of PCN, which has contributed to the containment of PCN to a small, 8.5-mile radius that spans portions of Bingham and Bonneville Counties in Idaho.

757 acres removed

In addition to this new detection, APHIS is removing approximately 757 acres of fields from regulation. These fields were regulated due to their associations with infested fields. They have since completed a release protocol comprised of sequence of surveys with negative laboratory results for PCN. These actions reduce the total regulated area in Idaho to 7,554 acres, including the 3,277 acres considered infested.

In accordance with the PCN regulations, APHIS has applied safeguarding measures on the interstate movement of PCN-regulated articles from this area. APHIS will follow-up with a notice of this change to the regulated area in the Federal Register. The specific PCN-regulated areas can be found on the USDA APHIS website. 

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