Potato Cyst Nematode
About potato cyst nematode (PCN)
|PCN cysts can survive for many years on soil or organic matter. They are about 0.5mm in diameter.|
Potato cyst nematode (PCN) is a microscopic, worm-like organism which feeds on the roots of potatoes, tomatoes and other plants of the Solanaceae family. It lives in the soil and can easily be spread by the movement of host plants or the soil attached to plants, bulbs, advanced trees and agricultural equipment.
PCN can reduce crop yields, increase production costs and result in trade restrictions for potatoes.
PCN is not a human health issue.
Further details can be found in the PCN Information Note.
PCN cysts can survive for many years on soil or organic matter. They are about 0.5mm in diameter.
DEEPI management program
DEPI's role in PCN management is based on:
- establishing controls and advising on practices to limit the spread of PCN to unaffected districts and from affected districts
- improving the knowledge of PCN distribution in risk areas
- developing effective legislation
- developing state and regional market access programs
- improving industry awareness of PCN issues.
DEPI works closely with Victorian potato industry groups and other stakeholders in conducting the PCN management program.
DEPI also negotiates with other states and sets regulations regarding interstate movement of potatoes exported from or imported into Victoria.
PCN management zones in Victoria
Potato/Plant Protection Districts (PPDs)
Potato Protection Districts (PPDs) are declared under Victorian legislation for the purpose of preventing the entry into the area of PCN.
Being declared a PPD means that entry into the area of:
- potatoes for planting
- agricultural equipment used in potato production, and
- used potato bins or bags
is subject to a number of conditions, which are regulated by DEPI.
Potatoes for home consumption do not require certification for entry into a PPD.
Three PPDs have been established in Victoria at the request of potato growers, to protect their industry, customers and suppliers from the threat of PCN:
Warragul PPD (2008)
Home gardeners within PPDs can help to guard against PCN by:
- using only certified seed potatoes in their home garden
- only purchasing garden plants grown in soilless potting media.
Four Control Areas (CAs) have been declared by Order to prevent the spread of PCN from the following areas:
A permit is required to move PCN host materials out of any of these CAs. Movement conditions apply when such a permit is issued.
For information about the conditions of movement of plant materials, soil, machinery and other equipment into or out of PCN management zones, please contact DEPI Plant Standards by phone (03) 8371 3500, fax (03) 9687 6746, or email email@example.com
PCN has also been detected in metropolitan areas - see overview map.
On-farm hygiene for PCN management
To reduce the risk of spreading PCN, on-farm hygiene practices need to be followed with respect to vehicles, people and used machinery and equipment.
If you suspect you may have PCN on your property, please contact DEPI on 136 186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org