Golden Nematode Containment Quarantine
The Golden Nematode (Globodera rostochiensis) (GN) is a quarantined pest that has been discovered in potato fields on Long Island and in the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York. It is recognized throughout the temperate regions of the world as one of the most difficult of all crop pests to eradicate. It can drastically reduce yields on the farms where it exists, and if left uncontrolled, poses a threat for spread to other fields.
Were it not for an effective management plan, the unmitigated risk of spread could prohibit the interstate movement of all crops which could carry soil on them. For over sixty years, the Department and the United States Department of Agriculture have worked cooperatively to preserve the potato industry in New York and to prevent the spread of the nematode.
In order to prevent the spread of GN, vigilance needs to be maintained over mandated sanitation practices and the adherence of the grower to the resistant variety rotations. The Agriculture and Markets Law requires that any equipment leaving a regulated field be cleaned free of all soil prior to entering a non-regulated field and any grower wishing to plant potatoes in a regulated field must follow a four-year crop rotation scientifically designed to reduce the spread of GN cysts. Inspectors monitor grower activities to ensure that mandated sanitation practices are employed.
On an annual basis the GN statewide soil survey is conducted by USDA with Division assistance. This survey is to determine if there are any active infestations both in regulated fields and fields likely to be exposed to infestation.
The Department, in collaboration with USDA-APHIS has embarked on a five-year plan where the goal of the plan is to achieve 90% deregulation of the currently regulated acreage. During the early years of the program, the containment of GN involved quarantining not only infested fields but fields exposed to potential infestation. Many of the exposed fields have shown through survey that GN was never present. The Department is currently reviewing all acreage placed under quarantine and has announced the deregulation of more than 300,000 acres in Livingston, Genesee and Steuben counties in upstate New York.