Oct 8, 2014
Idaho PCN eradication progresses

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that six more Idaho fields have successfully completed the greenhouse bioassay phase of the pale cyst nematode (PCN) eradication program.

This brings to seven, the total number of fields that have completed this phase. Two more fields are undergoing the bioassay phase at the University of Idaho in Moscow.

These nine fields represent the first fields where PCN was detected between 2006 and 2008 in Idaho.

The seven fields will remain under regulation but are eligible to return to potato production. Full-field surveys to check for viable PCN will be required following each of the next three potato crops.

The bioassay phase is an important milestone in efforts to return the fields to potato production. The greenhouse bioassay requires 18 months to complete and determine whether soil samples taken from infested fields show no signs of viable nematodes.

We like to call it the gold standard,” said Tina Gresham, APHIS director of the PCN program. “It’s the most thorough method we have for evaluating cyst viability.”

“We anticipate having additional fields trigger the greenhouse bioassay phase within the next year,” Gresham said.

Currently there are 22 PCN infested fields, totaling 2,392 acres. All 22 infested fields are within a five-mile radius that spans northern Bingham County and southern Bonneville County.

An additional 8,478 acres have been declared regulated due to associations with infested fields and production of a PCN host crop within the past 10 years.

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