KEEPING SCOTLAND FREE FROM POTATO BROWN ROT
Potato brown rot has never been found in Scottish potatoes.
This information sheet explains the steps taken to keep Scottish potatoes free of this destructive disease
1. Scottish seed potatoes are produced from in vitro nuclear stock which has been tested and found free from brown rot.
2. Scotland is an EU High Grade Seed Potato Region and only Community Grades of Basic seed potatoes, the highest grade seed, can be planted in Scotland.
3. All Community Grade material entering Scotland is closely monitored and tested for latent brown rot infection. Less than one per cent of the total area of seed potatoes grown in Scotland each year is planted with Community Grade material from other parts of the EU.
4. All potato planting material from outwith the EU must pass through the UK Potato Quarantine Unit and be tested to confirm freedom from brown rot before it is grown in Scotland.
5. The Scottish seed potato industry operates a voluntary ban on the import of seed potatoes from outwith the British Isles.
6. In Scotland ware potatoes may only be grown from Basic grade or once grown seed potatoes.
7. Ware potatoes imported from outside the EU are inspected for brown rot. Stocks from Egypt are tested for latent infection and processing waste is subject to official control to prevent contamination of watercourses.
8. Scottish rivers used for the irrigation of seed potato crops are tested annually to check for Ralstonia solanacearum. In 2000 the bacterium was detected in stretches of the Tay, Isla and Lunan Burn river system in Perthshire. However, in 2001 Scottish Government embarked on an eradication programme to eliminate the presence of R. solanacearum in this small stretch of river. All evidence now indicates that R. solanacearum has been successfully eradicated from this stretch of river. As a result the prohibition on irrigation of potato (and tomato) crops will be lifted. As an added precaution we will continue to test extensively water, alternative host plants and potato tubers associated with this small stretch of river. All other watercourses have been found free from R.solanacearum.
9. All stocks of seed potatoes that have been irrigated are tested for the presence of R. solanacearum. The bacterium has never been found in any Scottish seed potatoes.
10. Across Scotland tuber samples from domestic seed and ware stocks are subject to visual examination and laboratory testing for brown rot as part of a comprehensive annual EU-wide survey.
For further information telephone 00 44 (0)131 244 6343 or FAX 00 44 (0)131 244 6509.
Brown Rot has never been found in Scottish potatoes