Plant Health Centre to chair working group on Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN)

The Plant Health Centre has been asked by Scottish Government to chair a working group on Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) following our recently completed report, which can be found on the 'Projects' section of our website.  The working group will take place before November 2020 and a report will be submitted to Scottish Government before December 2020. 

(Excerpt from the report) Recommendations and next steps from the PCN report

• Encouraging the use of resistant varieties in control programmes and, where possible, identify an end market for these varieties.

• Potentially shifting rules within the legislation to benefit management of PCN. For example, relaxing the current statutory measures through: a) revising PCR thresholds for positive PCN tests; and b) revising the area of land on which seed potato production is prohibited. However, such relaxations would be conditional on the availability and use of resistant varieties.

• The whole industry needs to work together to preserve the seed industry in Scotland.

• Working groups will scrutinise different suggestions for the way ahead.

• Knowledge transfer is critical for growers to understand the impact of their actions and to motivate end users (e.g. processers, producers and supermarkets) to increase uptake of G. pallida resistant varieties for the longevity of the potato industry in Great Britain.