The rugose virus threat – Will it affect your spring crops?

If you are a Canadian ornamental grower that also grows tomato liners as part of your spring crop selection, or if you grow ornamental peppers, here is what you need to know regarding Rugose symptoms, prevention and more importantly, regulations.

Although it does not pose a food safety risk, Rugose (ToBRFV) can be devastating to crops and challenging to control/eradicate when not acted upon swiftly. Similar to Tomato Mosaic Virus (ToMV), it is highly virulent (i.e. spreads easily) and stable (i.e. persists in the environment). It is currently only known to affect tomatoes and peppers, but its complete host range has not yet been established.

Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a federal order regarding shipment of Tomato and Pepper plants (including plants for planting, seeds and fruit) to prevent the entry of ToBRFV to the United States. This order may restrict export opportunities for Canadian ornamental growers on products such as ornamental or potted peppers, tomato seedlings, and tomato transplants. This federal order took place on November 22, 2019.

In light of these new regulations, Flowers Canada is seeking information on export and production patterns for tomato and pepper plants from ornamental producers to better understand potential impacts to the industry.

Read more at onfloriculture (Sarah Jandricic)

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