Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 13-04-071.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Chapter 16-324 WAC, Rules for the certification of seed potatoes, the agency is proposing to amend the certification requirements for seed potatoes as a result of a petition submitted by the Washington seed potato commission (WSPC). The proposed amendments:
(1) Add an additional laboratory test for potato virus Y (PVY) for all lots entered for post-harvest testing;
(2) Eliminate the latent virus testing requirement for potato virus X (PVX);
(3) Add definitions for "seed potato farm" and "ELISA testing";
(4) Allow nuclear generation seed potatoes to be recertified if tests are negative for bacterial ring rot disease;
(5) Revise the requirement for physical separation in the field between lots of different classes (generations) or different varieties;
(6) Change Generation 1 (G1) requirement that the seed potatoes must be produced in a field that has not been planted with potatoes from three years to one year; and
(7) Require all G1 lots, with the exception of those lots of less than a quarter acre that are planted back on the same farm, to be post-harvest tested.
Hearing Location(s): WSPC, 108 South Interlake Road, Main Conference Room, Moses Lake, WA 98837, on May 7, 2013, at 2:00 p.m.; and at the Washington State University, Whatcom County Extension, 1000 North Forest Street, Suite 201, Main Conference Room, Bellingham, WA 98225, on May 10, 2013, at 11:00 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: May 24, 2013.
Submit Written Comments to: Henri Gonzales, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, e-mail email@example.com, fax (360) 902-2094, by May 10, 2013.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Henri Gonzales by April 30, 2013, TTY (800) 833-6388 or 711.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The purpose of the seed potato certification program is to provide disease/pest-free seed potato planting stock to the commercial potato industry. Some diseases/pests of potatoes can greatly decrease yields, appearance, and reduce storage quality. Recently, new strains of viruses have emerged that show little or no foliar symptoms but cause severe necrosis in tubers. These latent or cryptic viruses are not readily detected during visual inspections, so can be unknowingly sold in certified seed. If these seed pieces with latent virus infections are planted, tuber necrosis in the resulting crop may cause substantial losses for commercial potato growers and processors. This proposal is intended to address the problem of tuber necrosis in commercial production through more rigorous post-harvest testing. The proposal also lightens some of the planting requirements, allows recertification of nuclear generation plantings if tested negative for bacterial ring rot disease, and eliminates the testing for PVX.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The purpose of seed potato certification is to manage pathogens carried in or on seed pieces in order to limit their detrimental effects on the yields and quality of potato production. Historically, seed potato certification has been based upon growing season inspections to visually detect and quantify diseases in seed potato lots. However, these new strains of viruses show little or no foliar symptoms making it necessary to have more rigorous post-harvest laboratory testing requirements. The proposed changes will bring the certification program more into harmony with adjoining states. Both the seed potato and potato industry has requested changes to the existing certification requirements in order to adequately protect growers.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 15.14.015 and chapter 34.05 RCW.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 15.14.015.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: WSPC, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Tom Wessels, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504-2560, (360) 902-1984.
A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish rules for the certification of seed potatoes.
The proposed amendments to this chapter include:
|•||Revising the production requirements to allow the recertification of nuclear generation seed potatoes after bacterial ring rot is detected in a field.|
|•||Eliminating the latent virus testing requirements.|
|•||Strengthening the post-harvest test requirements by requiring all G1 lots, with the exception of those lots less than 1/4 acre that are planted back on the same farm, to be post-harvest tested.|
|•||Requiring laboratory testing for PVY in all lots entered for post-harvest testing.|
|•||Revising the growing requirements regarding the method of separating seed potato lots of different classes (generations) or varieties.|
INDUSTRY ANALYSIS: The seed potato certification program is a voluntary program that currently has eight participants, seven of which are small businesses. Although the certification program is voluntary, chapter 16-482 WAC, the seed potato quarantine, requires all commercial potato growers in this state to plant with certified seed. Both seed potato growers and commercial potato growers fall under the North American Industry Classification System code 1112. There are approximately three hundred fifty commercial potato growers in the state, most of which are small businesses.
The purpose of seed potato certification is to manage pathogens carried in or on seed pieces, in order to limit their detrimental effects on the yields and quality of potato production. Historically, seed potato certification has been based upon growing season inspections to visually detect and quantify disease in seed potato lots. Lots that will be grown for seed - that is, lots to be recertified in the following year(s) - are also required to be post-harvest tested. In a post-harvest test, a sample from the seed potato lot is grown out in a greenhouse and inspected during the winter. Lots that exceed disease tolerances established in chapter 16-324 WAC are downgraded or denied certification.
Recently, new strains of viruses have emerged that show little or no foliar symptoms but cause severe necrosis in tubers. These latent or cryptic viruses are not readily detected during visual inspections, so can be unknowingly sold in certified seed. If these seed pieces with latent virus infections are planted, tuber necrosis in the resulting crop may cause substantial losses for commercial potato growers and processors. This proposal is intended to strengthen the seed potato certification program and address the problem of tuber necrosis in commercial production through a more rigorous post-harvest test.
The department has analyzed the proposed rule amendments and has determined that adopting this proposal would incur more than minor costs for some seed potato growers but will provide substantial benefits to commercial potato growers by lessening the incidence of tuber necrosis.
INVOLVEMENT OF SMALL BUSINESSES: This proposal was developed by a committee of seed potato growers and WSDA personnel appointed by the WSPC at its bimonthly meeting in April 2012. The committee members met with commercial potato growers in Skagit County to discuss ways of mitigating high virus incidence in seed potatoes. All substantial amendments in this proposal were recommended by the seed potato growers. In addition, the plant services program notified any seed potato growers that were not immediately involved in drafting the revision.
COST OF COMPLIANCE: RCW 19.85.040 directs agencies to analyze the costs of compliance for businesses required to comply with the proposed rule, including costs of equipment, supplies, labor, professional services, and increased administrative costs. Agencies must also consider whether compliance with the rule will result in loss of sales or revenue. RCW 19.85.040 directs agencies to determine whether the proposed rule will have a disproportionate cost impact on small businesses by comparing the cost of compliance for small business with the cost of compliance for the ten percent of the largest businesses required to comply with the proposed rules. Agencies are to use one or more of the following as a basis for comparing costs:
|•||Cost per employee;|
|•||Cost per hour of labor; or|
|•||Cost per one hundred dollars of sales.|
Current certification rules require seed potato lots that will be sold for recertification to be post-harvest tested. This proposal would add a requirement for all G1 lots, except those on less than 1/4 acres or planted back on the same farm, to be post- harvest tested. Additionally, due to these proposed rule changes, during post-harvest testing lots would be laboratory tested for PVY. However, the cost of PVY testing would be offset by eliminating the existing requirement for laboratory testing for PVX of nuclear and G1 lots. All other amendments to this proposal will be cost neutral. The economic impact of this proposal on seed potato growers depends on the number of G1 lots, the size of those lots, and whether the lots are planted back on the same seed potato farm.
In the seed potato certification process, a lot originates from a single plant that has been tested and found free of eight regulated pathogens. Seed growers multiply these lots by successive asexual propagations of up to six field generations, successively designated nuclear and G1 through G5. Each successive generation has a greater yield and a higher maximum allowable level (i.e., tolerance) for virus, so the value is inversely proportional to its generation. Generally, nuclear and G1 lots are planted back for recertification by either the same grower or by another seed grower. Commercial potato growers usually plant the higher generations (e.g., G4 or G5 planting stock), although some who are concerned about virus content will pay more for an earlier generation lot (e.g., G3).
The cost of this proposal to a seed potato grower would depend on the number of G1 lots of greater than 1/4 acre. Of the eight seed potato growers in Washington, five grew G1 lots in 2012. Based on G1 lots certified in 2012, adoption of this proposal would cost each grower of G1 lots $100 - $5,000 in additional post-harvest test fees. The remaining three seed potato growers would not be affected by this proposal because they do not grow lower generation (nuclear and G1) seed potatoes. A seed potato grower could minimize the effects of this proposal by reducing or eliminating G1 lots.
Analysis of Cost of Compliance: The program analyzed the cost of compliance anticipated by regulated small businesses and found that this proposed amendment to chapter 16-324 WAC would have more than minor costs to four program participants (all small businesses) through an overall increase in the total fees paid for additional post-harvest testing of G1 seed potato lots. Growers submit samples for post-harvest testing to a commercial greenhouse which plants and grows the samples. When the plants emerge, a WSDA plant services specialist inspects the plants for virus symptoms and collects samples from the emerged plants for laboratory testing. The commercial greenhouse charges the grower $200 per lot with a lesser amount for lots less than one acre. WSDA does not propose increasing the certification fees the agency charges.
Analysis of Disproportionate Economic Impact: When costs associated with proposed rules are more than minor, the Regulatory Fairness Act requires a comparison of the costs to small businesses with those of ten percent of the largest businesses in the regulated industry. Analysis has shown that the costs small businesses will incur to comply with the proposed rules are more than minor and are disproportionate between small and large business entities.
Most of the seed potato farms in Washington are family farms that have operated for multiple generations. The exception is a large commercial potato company that grows seed potatoes for their own use. This company does not grow early generation seed, so they will not be impacted by this proposal. The economic impact of this proposal is directly proportional to the number of G1 seed lots grown and is unrelated to the size of the business.
Mitigating Disproportionate Costs: There will be no disproportional costs to small businesses from this proposal.
This proposal will require program participants growing G1 seed potato lots to post-harvest test all G1 seed lots except those less than 1/4 acre that are planted back on the same farm. Although the additional testing requirements will increase the production costs of G1 seed potato lots, it will also increase the value of the tested lots. Overall, this proposal will have a neutral effect on jobs.
CONCLUSION: To comply with the Regulatory Fairness Act, chapter 19.85 RCW, the program has analyzed economic impacts on small businesses, and although some costs imposed by the rule are more than minor, these costs cannot be mitigated because the additional testing is necessary to meet the current threat to potato production caused by the new strains of PVY. The additional production costs to seed potato farms growing G1 seed lots will result in higher quality seed potatoes for commercial potato growers. The agency was petitioned by the WSPC to amend the seed potato certification rule. The commercial potato industry supports the changes to the existing certification requirements in order to adequately protect growers.
Please contact Tom Wessels if you have any questions at (360) 902-1984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A copy of the statement may be obtained by contacting Henri Gonzales, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-2061, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail email@example.com.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. WSDA is not a listed agency under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i).
April 2, 2013
Brad White, Ph.D.
Acting Assistant Director
RULES FOR THE)) CERTIFICATION OF SEED POTATOES
"Cull" means any lot of potatoes rejected for certification for any reason.
"Department" means the department of agriculture of the state of Washington.
"Director" means the director of the department of agriculture or his/her duly appointed representative.
"Disease tested" means tested for and found free of all
of the following diseases: Potato virus A (PVA), potato virus
M (PVM), potato virus S (PVS), potato virus X (PVX), potato
virus Y (PVY), potato leafroll virus (PLRV), potato mop top
virus (PMTV), potato spindle tuber viroid (spindle tuber),
Erwinia carotovora ssp. carotovora (soft rot), Erwinia
carotovora ssp. atroseptica (black leg) and Clavibacter
michiganense spp. ((
sependonicum)) sepedonicus (ring rot).
"ELISA testing" means laboratory testing by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay or other equivalent methodologies.
"Micropropagated" means potato stock propagated using aseptic laboratory techniques and culture media to promote plant tissue growth.
"Microtubers" means tubers produced in vitro by a micropropagated plant or plantlet.
"Minitubers" means tubers produced under controlled greenhouse conditions.
"Nematode" means plant parasitic nematodes capable of infesting potatoes, including but not limited to the genus Meloidogyne.
"Nuclear stock" means plantlets, microtubers, minitubers, or seed potatoes produced from prenuclear stock, and grown in the field for the first time.
"Plot" means a seed potato planting that is 0.25 acre or less in size.
"Powdery scab" means the disease caused by the fungus Spongospora subterranea.
"Prenuclear" means micropropagated plants or tubers and plants or minitubers produced in a greenhouse.
"Quarantine pest" means a pest of potential economic importance and not yet present in the state, or present but not widely distributed and being officially controlled.
"Recertification" means the process of certifying a seed lot that was certified the previous year.
"Rogue" means removing diseased or undesirable plants, including all associated plant parts, from a seed potato field.
"Seed lot" means a field, in whole or in part, or a group of fields producing seed potatoes, or the potato tubers harvested from a seed potato field.
"Seed potato farm" means a seed potato enterprise, including all land, equipment, storages and all facilities used to produce certified seed potatoes.
"Seed potatoes" means vegetatively propagated tubers used for potato production.
"Seed source" means seed potatoes produced by an individual grower within a particular seed production area.
"Trace" means a barely perceivable indication of plant disease that amounts to less than 0.001 percent of sample.
"Tolerance" means the maximum acceptable percentage of potato plants or tubers that is diseased, infected by plant pests, defective or off-type based on visual inspection or laboratory testing by the director or other authorized person.
"Unit method" means a method of planting in which cut seed pieces from one tuber are dropped consecutively in a row, or in which all tubers from one plant are dropped consecutively in a row.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.14 and 34.05 RCW. 07-11-010, § 16-324-361, filed 5/3/07, effective 6/3/07. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.14 RCW. 02-12-010, § 16-324-361, filed 5/23/02, effective 6/23/02; 00-20-070, § 16-324-361, filed 10/3/00, effective 11/3/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 15.14.030. 97-11-028, § 16-324-361, filed 5/14/97, effective 6/14/97.]
(2) Prenuclear class.
(a) Prenuclear seed lots must be derived from disease tested micropropagated plants. All testing methods and laboratories must be approved by the department.
(b) A minimum of one percent (and not less than twenty
samples) of prenuclear seed produced in a greenhouse must be
tested and found free of potato virus X (PVX), potato virus Y
(PVY), potato virus S (PVS), potato leafroll virus (PLRV),
Erwinia carotovora ssp. caratovora (soft rot), Erwinia
carotovora ssp. atroseptica (black leg), and Clavibacter
michiganense ssp. ((
sependonicum)) sepedonicus (ring rot).
(c) The department will inspect all facilities used in the production of prenuclear class seed potatoes on a periodic basis. Department approval is necessary in order to utilize these facilities.
(3) Nuclear class.
(a) Nuclear class seed potatoes must be propagated entirely from prenuclear plants.
(b) Each nuclear class seed lot must be distinctly separated in storage and in the field.
(c) If a ground rig is used for spraying, wide enough spacing between rows must be left, so that tires will not touch plants during the growing season.
(d) Growers must plant cut seed and single drop seed separately, with single drop seed identified.
(4) Generations 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
(a) Growers must leave a distinct separation ((
least six feet unplanted or planted to some other crop))
between lots of seed potatoes from different classes. (( A
similar)) The same separation must be left between different
varieties, unless the varieties are readily distinguishable by
visual observation. The separation must consist of one of the
(i) A strip of land at least six feet in width, that is unplanted or planted with another crop; or
(ii) Visible markers such as flags in every corner of the lot, and also at intervals not to exceed one hundred yards.
(b) When more than one lot of seed potatoes is planted in the same field, growers must stake or mark the identity of each lot.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.14 and 34.05 RCW. 08-10-039, § 16-324-385, filed 4/30/08, effective 5/31/08; 07-11-010, § 16-324-385, filed 5/3/07, effective 6/3/07. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.14 RCW. 00-20-070, § 16-324-385, filed 10/3/00, effective 11/3/00.]
(2) Only seed lots that meet or exceed the minimum requirements as established in this chapter are eligible for certification. A seed lot that has more than a trace amount of virus disease noted during any field inspection is not eligible for recertification, unless it has been post-harvest tested and meets the minimum standards established in WAC 16-324-420.
(3) A post-harvest test is required for seed lots that will be recertified, except when planted back on the same seed potato farm.
(4) In order to be eligible for certification in Washington state, seed lots from other states or countries must be eligible for recertification in the state or country of origin and must meet the requirements of this chapter.
(5) A seed lot blended from two or more different sources of seed is not eligible for recertification.
(6) A seed lot infected with powdery scab is not eligible for recertification.
(7) Generation 5 (G5) seed lots are not eligible for recertification.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.14 and 34.05 RCW. 07-11-010, § 16-324-391, filed 5/3/07, effective 6/3/07. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.14 RCW. 00-20-070, § 16-324-391, filed 10/3/00, effective 11/3/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 15.14.030. 97-11-028, § 16-324-391, filed 5/14/97, effective 6/14/97.]
(2) Generation 2 through generation 5 must be isolated by at least three hundred fifty feet from all noncertified potatoes.
(3) When ring rot is found in a field planted with more
than one lot of seed potatoes, the department will reject the
entire field ((
unless at least six feet between lots has been
left unplanted or planted to some other crop)).
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.14 and 34.05 RCW. 07-11-010, § 16-324-392, filed 5/3/07, effective 6/3/07. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.14 RCW. 00-20-070, § 16-324-392, filed 10/3/00, effective 11/3/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 15.14.030. 97-11-028, § 16-324-392, filed 5/14/97, effective 6/14/97.]
(2) Detection of ring rot in a field will make that field ineligible for production of certified seed potatoes for three years. Presence of volunteer potato plants in a field with ring rot history will disqualify the current field crop for certification. Plants outside of the defined row are considered volunteers.
(3) Nuclear class seed potatoes must be produced in a
field that has not been planted with potatoes for at least
four years. ((
(New ground is preferred.)))
(4) Generation 1 ((
class seed potatoes must be produced
in a field that has not been planted with potatoes for at
least three years.
(5) Generation)), 2, 3, 4, and 5 class seed potatoes must be produced in a field that has not been planted with potatoes during the previous year unless the prior potato crop was certified seed potatoes of an earlier class of the same variety. Volunteer plants from a previously planted seed potato crop will cause the class designation of the current crop to be changed to the appropriate generation of the volunteer plants.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.13, 15.14 and 34.05 RCW. 04-12-026, § 16-324-393, filed 5/26/04, effective 6/26/04. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.14 RCW. 00-20-070, § 16-324-393, filed 10/3/00, effective 11/3/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 15.14.030. 97-11-028, § 16-324-393, filed 5/14/97, effective 6/14/97.]
(2) Seed stocks entered for certification ((
be planted and harvested prior to handling any other seed
stock. The earliest generation (( must)) should be handled
prior to later generations within the program.
(3) Only department-approved containers shall be used during the digging, storage, and packing process.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.14 and 34.05 RCW. 07-11-010, § 16-324-396, filed 5/3/07, effective 6/3/07. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.14 RCW. 00-20-070, § 16-324-396, filed 10/3/00, effective 11/3/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 15.14.030. 97-11-028, § 16-324-396, filed 5/14/97, effective 6/14/97.]
(2) First and second field inspection tolerances, expressed as percentages.
|Nuclear||G 1||G 2||G 3||G 4||G5|
|Total visible virus||0.00||((
|Spindle tuber viroid and other quarantined pests||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
*Tolerance for black leg does not apply to G5.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.13, 15.14 and 34.05 RCW. 04-12-026, § 16-324-398, filed 5/26/04, effective 6/26/04. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.14 RCW. 02-12-010, § 16-324-398, filed 5/23/02, effective 6/23/02; 00-20-070, § 16-324-398, filed 10/3/00, effective 11/3/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 15.14.030. 97-11-028, § 16-324-398, filed 5/14/97, effective 6/14/97.]
(a) All Generation 1 lots except lots that are less than 0.25 acre and planted back on the same seed potato farm;
(b) Seed lots sold for recertification; and
(c) Lots for which a post-harvest test is required by WAC 16-324-399.
(2) Seed lots submitted for post-harvest testing in subsection (1)(a) and (b) of this section must also be ELISA tested for PVY.
(3) A minimum of four hundred tubers must be submitted
for each seed lot entered for post-harvest testing. Seed lots
less than ((
one)) 0.25 acre in size must submit a minimum of
four tubers per total hundred weight with a minimum of fifty
(3))) (4) The applicant is responsible for the cost of
(4))) (5) Seed lots in the post-harvest test which fail
to comply with the disease tolerance requirements set forth in
WAC 16-324-420 are not eligible for recertification.
(a) The applicant must notify in writing all receivers of any seed lot that failed to comply with post-harvest tolerances set forth in WAC 16-324-420.
(b) Acceptance of a seed lot that fails to comply with the tolerances set forth in WAC 16-324-420 must be based on a written buyer/seller agreement. The grower must provide the department with a copy of the written agreement within thirty days of receiving the post-harvest results.
[Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.14 and 34.05 RCW. 07-11-010, § 16-324-409, filed 5/3/07, effective 6/3/07. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.14 RCW. 00-20-070, § 16-324-409, filed 10/3/00, effective 11/3/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 15.14.030. 97-11-028, § 16-324-409, filed 5/14/97, effective 6/14/97.]
|TOLERANCE TABLE: PERCENT DISEASE|
[Statutory Authority: RCW 15.14.030. 97-11-028, § 16-324-420, filed 5/14/97, effective 6/14/97. Statutory Authority: Chapters 34.05 and 15.14 RCW. 92-22-017 (Order 4014), § 16-324-420, filed 10/22/92, effective 11/22/92. Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.14 RCW. 78-12-034 (Order 1587), § 16-324-420, filed 11/21/78; Order 1199, § 16-324-420, filed 5/5/71, effective 6/7/71.]
(2) Each storage or room containing more than one seed
lot must have ((
a solid)) an impermeable barrier between each
(a) The department will reject any seed lot in which ring rot or nematode is found.
(b) Noncertified potatoes must not be stored in the same facility as certified seed potatoes.
(3) The applicant must notify in writing receivers of any seed lot found to be infected with ring rot. The applicant must provide the department with a copy of this notification when it is sent to the receiver.
(4) All seed classes must be graded according to the United States Standards for Grades of Seed Potatoes.
(5) Each container or sack must be identified with an official Washington seed potato tag listing the grower's name, address, seed lot number, net weight, variety and classification unless such information is printed on the sacks or containers.
(6) The department issues tags to the grower. The grower is required to comply with all of the following:
(a) Tag the sack or container as the potatoes are sorted;
(b) Allow inspection of graded seed potatoes at any time;
(c) Remove the tags from out-of-grade potatoes under the supervision of the department; and
(d) Return all unused tags to the department.
(7) The department may issue a compliance agreement authorizing the grower to tag seed potatoes.
(8) Bulk shipments must be identified with the information required in subsection (5) of this section.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 15.14 RCW. 02-12-010, § 16-324-431, filed 5/23/02, effective 6/23/02; 00-20-070, § 16-324-431, filed 10/3/00, effective 11/3/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 15.14.030. 97-11-028, § 16-324-431, filed 5/14/97, effective 6/14/97.]
The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
|WAC 16-324-401||Latent virus testing requirements.|
|WAC 16-324-402||Latent virus tolerance.|