24 July 2002

PCNrules to change

POTATO and bulb growers could face tighter restrictions under proposals to change the EU controls on potato cyst nematode.

DEFRA has issued a consultation to the industry seeking views on how to change the controls that have been in place for 30 years.

One of the options proposed is that a PCN survey is carried out over all land planted to bulbs and seed and ware potatoes, with the industry footing the bill. Current DEFRA funding is limited to sampling land before seed crops only.

PCN is now considered to be the biggest cropping problem on an estimated 45,000ha (112,500 acres) of potato land. &#42