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ODA, nurseries ready for new way to detect P. ramorum

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Changes are taking place in the inspection and certification of Oregon nurseries that face the potential of sudden oak death, and everyone agrees it’s a better way to go:

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At the end of the month, all but a handful of Oregon nurseries will no longer have to face a federally-required program designed to detect P. ramorum, the pathogen that causes sudden oak death. Dan Hilburn of the Oregon Department of Agriculture says for the past decade, a rigorous inspection, sampling, and testing protocol was applied to all nurseries that carried plants susceptible to the disease:

HILBURN:  “What we found, year after year doing this, was that most of the nurseries were perfectly clean and stay that way. They are clean one year after another. A few of the nurseries have problems, and they tend to be problems year after year. “  :15

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The new risk-based protocol will focus on those nurseries with a history of P. ramorum problems. That will cut down on time, inspectors, and lab analysis that’s been done in the past. Problem nurseries will have three years to get off the list and required special inspections:

HILBURN:  “They need attention, they need help. We’ll be able to do that without bothering the others, who get a regular inspection every year anyway, without giving them extra attention they don’t need.”  :11

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Hilburn says nurseries with a history of problems can improve management practices to minimize the risk of P. ramorum with such things as treating recycled water and cleaning recycled pots. There will be more time to provide that kind of information and assistance now that clean nurseries don’t require the extra scrutiny. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

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HILBURN says a change in the protocol to detect and contain the sudden oak death pathogen is welcome news to both the nursery industry and ODA inspectors:

“Instead of treating everybody alike and wasting time in places that don’t need it, we’re using risk based and focusing on the nurseries that have practices or a history of problems.”  :14

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HILBURN says after a decade of looking at all nurseries susceptible to P. ramorum, there is now a better way to deal with the issue:

“The receiving states and the marketplace have had enough of this panic response, which is what we’ve been doing, and have just learned that– all right, we don’t need to spend as much time on the nurseries that don’t have problems. But there are ones that do have problems and they need extra attention.”  :18

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