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Inspection agency finds four more fields with potato wart in P.E.I., completes probe

Disruption cost the Island's potato industry more than $50 million in revenue

Canada's food inspection agency says it has completed its investigation into the cases of potato wart in Prince Edward Island that halted exports to the United States.

The regulatory agency says its probe found the fungus in four fields, in addition to the two affected fields identified in 2021 that triggered the trade disruption with the Island's primary export market.

The agency says it's not unusual that it found additional cases of potato wart given that it analyzed nearly 50,000 soil samples from fields in the province.

Canada stopped sending the Island's best-known export to the U.S. on Nov. 21, 2021, after the disease that disfigures potatoes had been detected on the Island.

Shipments resumed in April after the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the all-clear, but not before the disruption cost the Island's potato industry more than $50 million in revenue.

Potato wart is a persistent soil-borne fungus that when left unmanaged can cause field losses of between 50% and 100%.

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