Potato wart not detected in national soil survey

News release

February 20, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario

Surveillance is an important element of the Government of Canada's efforts to help contain, control, and prevent the spread of potato wart. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has completed its 2023 National Survey for Potato Wart and confirms the pest was not detected in any of the soil samples tested. Over 2000 soil samples collected from fields in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island (PEI) were included in the survey.

The survey builds on the results from previous national surveys for potato wart, as well as specific and general visual potato wart surveillance that has been ongoing in PEI since 2000. These activities provide data to demonstrate the effectiveness of control measures, such as the Ministerial Order, that are in place. Surveillance and control measures help to minimize the impact on market access for all of Canada's potatoes which is the country's fifth-largest primary agriculture crop. The national survey results have been provided to provinces, the Canadian Potato Council and the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS).

CFIA will continue using science to inform its evidence-based decision-making in managing potato wart and is committed to creating a path forward for PEI potatoes, including implementing the Ministerial Order to help to contain, control, and prevent the spread of potato wart in PEI and protect this important sector of the Canadian economy. The CFIA recently invited stakeholders, the provinces, and trading partners to share their input into risk management documents to help inform the new National Potato Wart Response Plan which the CFIA plans to share a draft of with stakeholders for comment this spring.


These results are good news for potato growers across Canada. The continued collaboration between the CFIA and industry is vitally important to contain, control, and prevent the spread of potato wart, and we will do everything we can to keep the potato sector strong and maintain our key export markets.

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food of Canada

Quick facts

  • Potato wart is an extremely persistent soil-borne fungus that may reduce yield and potato tuber quality on farms. It can spread through the movement of soil, farm equipment, and potatoes from fields that have potato wart.

  • The CFIA is committed to helping contain, control, and prevent the spread of potato wart disease, which is regulated under the Plant Protection Act and Regulations. In Canada, potato wart is only known to occur in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. There are regulatory control measures in place in both provinces to help prevent the potential spread of this pest to other provinces and territories.

  • As part of the 2023 National Survey for Potato Wart survey, over 2000 soil samples were collected from fields across the country, excluding Newfoundland and Labrador. The potato wart pathogen (Synchytrium endobioticum) was not detected in any of the samples collected as part of the survey.

    • While samples from Newfoundland and Labrador are not collected as part of the National Survey for Potato Wart, CFIA does sample seed potato fields in the province annually as part of its ongoing surveillance and certification efforts.
  • Canadian farmers produced a record crop of 128 million hundredweight of potatoes in 2023 representing 22% more potatoes than Canada's 2020 crop and 3 .7% higher than 2022 (Statistics Canada, December 2023).

Associated links


Francis Chechile
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) touches the lives of all Canadians in so many positive ways. Each day, hard-working CFIA employees - including inspectors, veterinarians, and scientists - inspect food for safety risks, protect plants from pests and invasive species, and respond to animal diseases that could threaten Canada's national herd and human health. Guided by science-based decision-making and modern regulations, the Agency works tirelessly to ensure access to safe and healthy food in Canada, and support access to international markets for our high-quality agricultural products. To learn more, visit inspection.canada.ca.

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