Vilsack meets on seed potato ban


Vilsack meets on seed potato ban

Ag Secretary Vilsack recently met with Canadian officials about the stoppage of seed potato exports from Prince Edward Island after potato wart was detected.

While potato wart is not present in the U.S., the National Potato Council estimates if could cause more than $300 million indirect costs to the industry annually and billions more in indirect damage.

Kelly Turner with the Michigan Potato Industry Commission tells Brownfield growers are already making plans for alternatives this season.

“Seed could be a little bit tight,” she says.  “We’ll be testing out some new varieties whether we like it or not.”

The U.S. is the largest buyer of seed potatoes from the Canadian island.

USDA says trade will resume after thorough testing and additional safety measures are in place.