Potato Cyst Nematodes (PCN)
Potato cyst nematode (PCN) is the name commonly given to two species of cyst nematode which are serious pests of potato crops world-wide, namely Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis. They feed on the roots of the plant and can cause significant loss of yield, and the cysts can survive in the soil for many years, multiplying rapidly when a new crop of host plants is planted.
Taking effective action against PCN is vital to maintain supplies of both healthy seed potatoes for the ware industry in Scotland, and uncontaminated land for potato production.
The main methods of control are to ensure seed potatoes are produced in land free of PCN and, where PCN are found, to place restrictions on the use of the land and the disposal of crops, waste and soil to prevent the pest spreading.
Control measures from July 1, 2010
PCN has been subject to controls under European legislation since 1969. A new PCN control Directive, comes into force on July 1, 2010. This aims to strengthen and harmonise controls aginst PCN, taking account of changes in the understanding of the biology of the pest, its distribution across the EU and practices within the potato industry.
The Directive will be implemented in Scotland by the Plant Health (Scotland) Amendment Order 2010, laid before the Scottish Parliament on May 21, 2010. Fees are also being introduced for PCN testing, under the Plant Health Fees (Scotland) Amendment Regulation 2010.
Information for Growers sets out the new system which will apply to all crops to be planted in 2011 for the production of classified seed potatoes or farm saved seed, and the fees applicable.
From 2011 onwards, growers who want to grow ware potatoes on land where PCN has been found (including land which is "scheduled" under the old system) will need to agree an Official Control Programme with RPID Area Offices, to suppress the PCN populations.
This legislation requires farm saved seed to be grown on land with a PCN clearance certificate, unless it is to be planted on the same holding. Holdings will be identified by farm code. Where units have been amalgamated, land will only be considered to be "on the same holding" if it is in the same parish, or contiguous across a parish boundaries.
Details of parish boundaries are available from RPID Area Offices or you can view the boundaries on this interactive map by following the instructions provided.
If you do not find your answer please contact your local area office
Stakeholders' views were sought on the detailed implementation of Directive 2007/33/EC and the introduction of fees.
The first consultation was held from March 6 to May 29, 2009. The responses were made available along with an analysis.
The second consultation was open from December 19, 2009 to March 31, 2010. These responses were also published and analysed.
An Advisory Group including organisations representing the potato industry and scientists was formed to help develop the control programme for fields officially recorded as infested with PCN. Minutes of these meetings have been published.