Producer Guide to the National Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for Potato Growers
A Guide to Developing Your Farm Biosecurity Plan

Why is Potato Biosecurity Important?

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The sustainability of the potato industry in Canada depends on biosecurity practices on farms to prevent, minimize, and control the introduction of pests and diseases. History has demonstrated that a pest incursion on a farm can have devastating long-term consequences for the affected farm, region, and country (e.g. potato cyst nematode, potato wart). The development of a farm biosecurity plan will define and formalize many of the risk reduction practices that are already in place in your day-to-day operations and assist you in addressing potential biosecurity gaps that may exist in your current operation.

Adopting biosecurity best practices is a way to support the objectives of your farm business plan. Effective prevention of disease and pest occurrences protects productivity, stabilizes production costs, and protects the value of your farmland. The Farm Biosecurity Plan will also contribute to protecting the long-term investment in your farm operation.

Your Farm Biosecurity Plan may assist in retaining customers or attracting new markets. The enhancement of biosecurity practices at the farm level will help you in addressing customer expectation, whether locally, nationally, or internationally. 

The practices described in this document and included in a Farm Biosecurity Plan will reduce the risk of introducing a wide variety of pests and diseases into your farm operation. These include:

  • pests or diseases unknown to exist in Canada (i.e. brown rot).
  • quarantine pests and diseases known to occur in Canada (i.e. potato cyst nematode, potato wart).
  • non-quarantine pests and diseases (i.e. bacterial ring rot, late blight).

Biosecurity best practices reduce the risk of pests or diseases on the farm by targeting the possible pathways of introduction, including soil, seed, air, water, and various vectors (insect, human, animal) that are capable of transmitting a pest from an infected source to a host. A pathway-targeted approach also protects against unknown pests and diseases. Although diseases and pests may come and go, the major pathways (Table 1) remain the same.

Table 1: Major pathways associated with some pests and diseasesNote de tableau 1
Pests and Diseases Soil (including erosion) Seed Air Water (used for irrigation, cleaning and disinfection) Common vectors
Potato cyst nematodes (PCN)CheckmarkCheckmark Checkmark 
Potato wartCheckmarkCheckmark   
Powdery scabCheckmarkCheckmark   
Bacterial ring rot Checkmark   
Late blight CheckmarkCheckmark  
Blackleg Checkmark Checkmark 
Virus Checkmark  Aphids, nematodes, fungi
Brown rotCheckmarkCheckmark Checkmark 
WeedsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkBirds, animals

Notes de tableau

Note de tableau 1

These checkmarks are provided as examples of high-risk pathways of introduction. Other pathways may also be possible.

Retour à la référence de la note de tableau 1

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