Dutch Ring Rot prompts seed sourcing message

Confirmation that Potato Ring Rot has been found in ware potatoes in a region of South Holland has prompted NFU Scotland to remind all Scottish and UK growers to source safe and healthy seed.

Since September, the Dutch Foods and Products Authority have found Ring Rot in ware potatoes at three premises in one region as a result of a sample study of potato diseases. The first finding was at the grading facility of a potato trader, the other two on farms.

The suspicion is that illegally traded farm-saved seed was involved in these cases.

Additional checks are being undertaken in the Netherlands because Ring Rot was found on several farms in that region during 2009 and 2010.

NFU Scotland policy manager Peter Loggie said: “Although checks on other Dutch farms have so far proven negative, and all the potentially contaminated potatoes have been removed from the market, this incident again emphasises the importance of sourcing seed potatoes responsibly.

“It is in everyone’s interests that we work hard to preserve Scotland’s good record for healthy, disease-free potatoes.

“We would urge all growers in the UK to show care and diligence when buying seed and would recommend that growers consider buying from those who participate in the Potato Council’s Safe Haven Certification Scheme.