November 23, 2021 – Potato Wart (PW), a regulated quarantine pest, has been detected since 2000 in fields in Prince Edward Island (PEI). New detections in two commercial potato fields that were already under regulation due to association with earlier investigations were identified in October 2021.It should be noted that while the disease impacts potatoes, there is no risk to human health.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency(CFIA) has notified industry that several actions have been implemented that have significant impact on potato growers in PEI. Those actions impact the movement of fresh potatoes to the U.S., seed potato movement to areas outside of PEI, and risk mitigation measures on the movement of fresh potatoes domestically.

The above actions will have devasting impact on the financial and economic situation of PEI potato growers through the total loss of the U.S. market and restrictions on the domestic market. This is a particularly difficult hardship given the record yields and production of the 2021 PEI potato crop.

The CHC supports PEI potato growers in their efforts to secure alternative domestic markets for their tablestock and processing potatoes that would be destined for the U.S. market. Of immediate need is access to federal financial risk management program and other support avenues to assist in the mitigation of the severe financial losses that will be incurred. The CHC is committed to supporting the science-based rationale that supports the resumption of the trade of PEI potatoes both to the U.S. and within Canada.

For any questions or additional information, please contact David Jones at djones@hortcouncil.ca.