The United States allows PEI potato shipments to resume in Puerto Rico


A bag of potatoes from Prince Edward Island will be unloaded from an Ottawa transport truck on December 8, 2021. (Canadian Press / Adrian Wild)

Washington — The US Department of Agriculture has agreed to allow the resumption of shipments of Prince Edward Island potatoes to Puerto Rico.

Exports to Puerto Rico and the Americas have been suspended since November after the discovery of potato warts in two PEI areas.

Fungal parasites are spread by the movement of infected potatoes, soil and farm equipment and do not pose a threat to human health, but they can spoil the appearance of potatoes and significantly reduce yields.

The Canadian government has banned edible potato exports from the state to circumvent the US ban, and said the US should consider Canada’s mitigation efforts before resuming shipments.

Puerto Rico typically obtains 80-85% of potatoes from Prince Edward Island, which is about a quarter of the state’s exports of potatoes to the United States.

There are no signs of when a decision will be made to export to the continental United States or sell seed potatoes.

Canadian press

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