It's not that Canadian potato growers suffer from widespread presence of the Potato Cyst Nematodes (PCN). In fact, unlike in Europe, outbreaks in North America are few and far between. Distribution of potato cyst nematodes Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida, in North America (fruit & veggie)In 2010 the CFIA tested 43.200 soil samples of seed potatoes for the presence of potato cyst nematodes - and did not find a single sample positive for the presence of nematodes.
But it is a good thing to be prepared - just in case. And that is how most Canadian potato growers will benefit from a Government of Canada investment into research that will help the development of methods to control nematodes.
The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), announced March 17, 2011 that the Centre de recherche Les Buissons inc. will receive up to $700,000 to develop an integrated parasite management strategy to combat potato cyst nematodes.
"By investing in innovation, we are helping our producers to be more competitive. This investment ensures that the sector has the means to overcome the challenges they face" said Minister Blackburn. "This research will provide producers with tools to help improve pest management practices for potato production in Canada and allow them to remain competitive in international markets."
Potato cyst nematodes (PCN) are major parasites that negatively impact potato production. The funding announced today will go towards studying the biological traits of the parasites in order to reduce the population below detectable levels. Researchers will be looking in particular at PCN virulence and resistance when exposed to different varieties of potatoes. The project will also study alternative, biological controls and develop best practices to limit the risk of contamination, such as using resistant potato varieties in rotation.
"The investment made today by the federal government into researching the cyst nematode will provide the means for our industry to combat this problem and to reduce its impact on producers" said Pierre Chouinard, President and CEO of the CRLB.
This research project to support industry-led science and technology is a part of the $159 million investment in the Growing Canadian Agri-Innovations Program
. This five-year program promotes initiatives that help get new agricultural products onto the marketplace and contributes to the improvement of agricultural processes.
In addition, Canada's Economic Action Plan
supports agriculture as a core economic driver in this country. The Government of Canada is focused on strengthening the economy today, while preparing to pay down the deficit when the time is right, and to create and protect jobs in the future.
Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada News