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Notice

Potato Cyst Nematode; Update of Quarantined Areas

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice of changes to quarantined area.

SUMMARY:

We are advising the public that we have made changes to the area in the State of Idaho that is quarantined to prevent the spread of potato cyst nematode. The description of the quarantined area was updated on November 1, 2007, when the potato cyst nematode regulations became effective; on November 28, 2007, when one additional field was found to be infested; on January 9, 2008, when some fields that had been quarantined were found not to have an association with an infested field; and on March 21, 2008, when 24 associated fields were removed from the quarantined area after having been surveyed and found to be free of potato cyst nematode.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dr. Osama El-Lissy, Director, Invasive Species and Pest Management, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-8676.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The potato cyst nematode (PCN) (Globodera pallida) is a major pest of potato crops in cool-temperature areas. Other solanaceous hosts include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, tomatillos, and some weeds. The PCN is thought to have originated in Peru and is now widely distributed in many potato-growing regions of the world. PCN infestations may be expressed as patches of poor growth. Affected potato plants may exhibit yellowing, wilting, or death of foliage. Even with only minor symptoms on the foliage, potato tuber size can be affected. Unmanaged infestations can cause potato yield loss ranging from 20 to 70 percent. The spread of this pest in the United States could result in a loss of domestic or foreign markets for U.S. potatoes and other commodities.

In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on September 12, 2007, and effective on November 1, 2007 (72 FR 51975-51988, Docket No. APHIS-2006-0143), we established the PCN quarantine regulations (§§ 301.86 through 301.86-9, referred to below as the regulations). These regulations set out procedures for determining the areas quarantined for PCN and impose restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas.

Section 301.86-3 of the regulations sets out the procedures for determining the areas quarantined for PCN. Paragraph (a) of § 301.86-3 states that, in accordance with the criteria listed in § 301.86-3(c), the Administrator will designate as a quarantined area each field that has been found to be infested with PCN, each field that has been found to be associated with an infested field, and any area that the Administrator considers necessary to quarantine because of its inseparability for quarantine enforcement purposes from infested or associated fields.

Paragraph (c) provides that the Administrator will designate a field as an infested field when PCN is found in the field. Paragraph (c) also provides that the Administrator will designate a field as an associated field when PCN host crops, as listed in § 301.86-2(b), have been grown in the field in the last 10 years and the field shares a border with an infested field; the field came into contact with a regulated article listed in § 301.86-2 from an infested field within the last 10 years; or, within the last 10 years, the field shared ownership, tenancy, seed, drainage or runoff, farm machinery, or other elements of shared cultural practices with an infested field that could allow spread of the PCN, as determined by the Administrator.

Paragraph (b) describes the conditions for the designation of an area less than an entire State as a quarantined area. Less than an entire State will be designated as a quarantined area only if the Administrator determines that:

  • The State has adopted and is enforcing restrictions on the intrastate movement of the regulated articles that are equivalent to those imposed by the regulations on the interstate movement of regulated articles; and
  • The designation of less than the entire State as a quarantined area will prevent the interstate spread of PCN.

We have determined that it is not necessary to designate the entire State of Idaho as a quarantined area. Idaho has adopted and is enforcing restrictions on the intrastate movement of regulated articles from that area that are equivalent to those we are imposing on the interstate movement of regulated articles.

Paragraph (a) of § 301.86-3 further provides that the Administrator will publish the description of the quarantined area on the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Web site, http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​plant_​health/​plant_​pest_​info/​potato/​pcn.shtml. The description of the quarantined area will include the date the description was last updated and a description of the changes that have been made to the quarantined area. The description of the quarantined area may also be obtained by request from any local office of PPQ; local offices are listed in telephone directories. Finally, paragraph (a) establishes that, after a change is made to the quarantined area, we will publish a notice in the Federal Register informing the public that the change has occurred and describing the change to the quarantined area.

We are publishing this notice to inform the public of changes to the PCN quarantined area in accordance with § 301.86-3(a).

The PCN quarantined area was first updated when the regulations became effective on November 1, 2007. That update to the quarantined area expanded the list of associated fields based on new information regarding Start Printed Page 32285shared cultural practices. This added associated fields in Jefferson County, ID, as well as fields in Bonneville and Bingham Counties, ID.

On November 28, 2007, surveys confirmed the detection of PCN in one new field. It was not necessary to add that field to the quarantined area, as it had already been listed as an associated field. However, the finding of an infestation in that field led to new fields being designated as associated fields. These fields were in Bonneville and Bingham Counties.

On January 9, 2008, the quarantined area was further updated to remove four fields from the quarantined area. Although these fields had appeared to be associated fields, further investigation demonstrated that these fields were not associated with an infested field. The fields removed from quarantine were in Bonneville County.

On March 21, 2008, the quarantined area was updated to remove 24 fields from the quarantined area. These fields had been associated fields, and were found to be free of PCN according to a survey protocol approved by the Administrator as sufficient to support removal from quarantine, under paragraph (d)(2) of § 301.86-3. The fields removed from quarantine were in Bonneville and Bingham Counties.

The current map of the quarantined area can be viewed on the PPQ Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/​plant_​health/​plant_​pest_​info/​potato/​pcn.shtml.

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Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 29th day of May 2008.

Cindy Smith,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-12625 Filed 6-5-08; 8:45 am]

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