Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Planting commences after three years negative for plum pox in NY!

Plum pox virus (PPV) is considered the world's most devastating stone fruit virus.  Not only does it cause low yield, but the fruit that is produced is blemished and unmarketable.  It affects members of the Prunus genus, which includes plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, almonds, and can also infect wild and ornamental Prunus species.  There are six known strains of PPV: D, M, EA, C, W, and PPV-Rec (Recombinant), though PPV-D is the only one currently known in the U.S.  First described in Bulgaria in 1915, the first detection of PPV in North America was in Pennsylvania in 1999.  In 1997 it was found in Ontario and in 2006 it was discovered in New York and Michigan.

Plum Pox Virus (Potyvirus PPV) by Biologische Bundesanstalt für Land- und Forstwirtschaft Archive, Biologische Bundesanstalt für Land- und Forstwirtschaft,

After plum pox was discovered in New York, infects areas were declared "regulated" which means that all plant materials and parts which may spread plum pox may not be moved interstate and no susceptible Prunus spp. may be planted.  When surveys in a specific area cannot detect plum pox for three consecutive years, plum pox is declared eradicated in that area.  Pennsylvania and Michigan have already be declared free of plum pox and it is also eradicated in Orleans and Wayne counties in New York.  This is the third year New York has tested negative for plum pox and so the 14,400 acres in Niagara county has moved to a "quarantine" area, which means that Prunus species may now be planted in the area again.  There are still going to be some restrictions on the amount of acres planted and Ontario has yet to eradicate the virus, so the State Department of Agriculture is moving ahead with caution.

For more on the announcement: Planting ban lifted in local orchards
To learn more about plum pox: Plum pox