National potato wart survey comes back clean

National potato wart survey comes back clean
Feb 21, 2024

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency collected more than 2,000 soil samples

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) found no traces of potato wart in its 2023 National Survey for Potato Wart.

The CFIA collected more than 2,000 soil samples from every province except Newfoundland and Labrador, and found no evidence of the potato wart pathogen, Synchytrium endobioticum.

The CFIA does sample seed potato fields in Newfoundland and Labrador as part of its ongoing surveillance.

Clean fields are crucial to the success of Canada’s potato sector, which is the fifth largest primary ag crop in the country, and worth about $3.4 billion in exports.

“These results are good news for potato growers across Canada. The continued collaboration between the CFIA and industry is vitally important to contain, control, and prevent the spread of potato wart, and we will do everything we can to keep the potato sector strong and maintain our key export markets,” Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay said in a statement.

This is the second consecutive year the survey yielded no potato wart results. The 2022 survey didn’t include P.E.I. though, as farmers there were managing cases of potato wart.

The most recent outbreak of potato wart caused the U.S. to temporarily shut its borders to Canadian potatoes.

Potato wart is regulated under the Plant Protection Act.

When a detection is confirmed, the legislation can trigger land-use restrictions, moving controls and other measures.

If left unmanaged, potato wart can cause 100 per cent yield loss. has contacted Potato Growers of Canada for comment on the survey’s findings.

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