April 19, 2007

USDA TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO ERADICATE POTATO CYST NEMATODE IN IDAHO

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Idaho Congressional Delegation welcomed today's announcement by Secretary of Agriculture Johanns that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be providing $10.78 million to help eradicate potato cyst nematode (PCN) in Idaho.A year ago, PCN was discovered in tare soil originating from some eastern Idaho fields. Tare soil is the dirt that is attached to the potato when it comes out of the ground. Since then, an extensive survey determined that PCN is confined to just seven fields within a one-mile radius. Since PCN can cause up to eighty percent crop loss, eradication is essential. The Delegation thanked Secretary Johanns for granting their request for this assistance, "This is major news for Idaho's potato industry and the producers whose farm operations were directly affected. We commend the excellent work of Secretary Johanns and the Bush Administration in recognizing the urgency and severity of this problem and acting quickly to resolve it. This will help preserve Idaho's potato industry."