New York state declares 68 square miles free of soil pest

02/20/2012 02:30:00 PM
By The Grower Staff

It took more nearly 70 years of surveys, quarantines and controls to declare about about 68 square miles of New York state free of golden nematode.

Since 1944, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Sevice have worked to rid the area of the worm-like soilborne pest, according to a news release.

The deregulated area is in the townships of Elba and Byron in Genessee County.

The designation will free growers of potatoes and other crops from many regulatory requirements.

That means potato growers and others will no longer need to steam clean their equipment before leaving their fields.

In addition, potatoes and other commodities will no longer need to be inspected and certified for interstate movement.

Under a new protocol signed by Canada in June 2009, APHIS will only regulate potato cyst nematode-infested fields and fields immediately adjacent to infested fields.

During the next three years, APHIS says it plans to deregulate up to 90 percent of the land in New York currently regulated for golden nematode.

Golden nematodes fall into the category of general potato cyst nematodes.

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