The Society has been informed by DEFRA about the identification of non-native viruses in ulluco crops being grown in England. These viruses have the potential to spread to potato and other crops, and cause damage. DEFRA are strongly advising against the further import and growing of ulluco in the UK, pending further assessment of the risks from this crop. Click here to read the full DEFRA press release with images to identify the tuber.
If ulluco is currently being grown, good biosecurity practice is recommended to prevent the spread of potentially damaging viruses.
- Ulluco should only be harvested for personal consumption and should not be sold or transferred to other sites (and all tubers should be removed from the soil).
- Tubers of ulluco should not be saved for planting in the following year to avoid carry over of any viruses harboured in the tubers.
- It is possible for the viruses to spread by contact, therefore any potatoes and species of Amaranthaceae, Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae, which you have grown, should also only be harvested for personal consumption and any seed/tubers should not be saved for planting in the following year.
- Any remaining waste from the vegetables, including peelings, can be disposed of in general waste bins to go to landfill and should not be composted.
- Remaining plant material (leaves and stems) of ulluco, should be destroyed following harvest, either by incineration (burning on site) or via deep burial (to a minimum of 2 m) in accordance with waste regulations, or bagged and disposed of with waste for land fill.
- Remaining plant material of potato and species of Amaranthaceae, Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae, which you have grown, should be destroyed as for the ulluco plant material in the preceding point.
- The planting area should be cleared of all plant material, including weeds.
- If any ulluco and potato plants regrow in the following year, they should be destroyed as for the plant material above.
The viruses are potentially transmitted mechanically (on people, clothes, equipment etc.), so hygiene best practice should be followed: Wash hands with soap before and after working on a crop and clean any tools and equipment which have been in contact with ulluco thoroughly to remove all plant material and soil.
If you have any further queries about ulluco, import requirements or plant health controls, please contact your relevant plant health authority:
For England and Wales, contact your local APHA Plant Health and Seeds Inspector or the PHSI Headquarters, Sand Hutton, York. Tel: 01904 405138
For Scotland, contact the Scottish Government’s Horticulture and Marketing Unit:
For Northern Ireland, contact the DAERA Plant Health Inspection Branch:
Telephone 0300 2007847 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information on UK Plant Health please see:
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