Zebra chip, a disease that annually costs Southwest U.S. potato growers millions of dollars in crop loss, has been found in Washington and Oregon.
A USDA scientist and an Oregon State University plant pathologist confirmed zebra chip in tuber samples growers submitted to the OSU research laboratory in Hermiston, Ore.
Phil Hamm, plant pathologist at the Hermiston research station, submitted the samples to the USDA lab in Prosser, Wash., after finding they were infected by the zebra chip pathogen.
"Because of its importance, we asked that Jim Crosslin with the USDA in Prosser confirm our lab results," Hamm said.
Hamm said the disease was identified in five different fields in the southern Columbia Basin, and in five cultivars: Russet Ranger, Russet Norkotah, Pike, Alturas and a red selection.
"I don't think there are any catastrophic issues out there," Hamm said, "but there is some damage."