Keith Kridler, Texas

Phytosanitary inpections of daffodil bulbs

June 23, 2008

Categories: Bulb Information, Growing Daffodils

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There is a misconception about these inspections being some sort of a total 100% guarantee that the bulbs or plants you are purchasing are completely pest and disease free!
We ship bulbs all over the country and so far ONLY California addresses require a Phytosanitary certificate. In order to ship bulbs we have to own a current Texas Department of Agriculture nursery permit.
This means that ONCE a year our local Texas Agriculture man comes and walks our 20 acres mostly looking for pests and diseases that affect timber and commercial crops and NOT what affects daffodils! Remember we grow 110 million acres of corn in the USA and only 400 acres of daffodils!
For years I was the ONLY daffodil grower requesting these certificates in Texas. So there was NOT a qualified daffodil disease and pest expert in the whole state or even in the whole southern region of the USA.
OK for example Holland and the UK can ship Tete-E-Tete to the USA with phytosanitary certificates EVEN THOUGH ALL of this variety of bulbs contain one or TEN of the common viruses that affect daffodil bulbs! The reason WHY is that ALL of these diseases are already common and widespread in ALL of the commercial crops that can be affected by these.
For example Daffodil bulbs shipped from Texas to California must be VISUALLY inspected for ONLY three pests! One is the imported Red Fire Ants, the second is the Japanese Beetle and the third is the nematodes!
David Adams mentions getting his inspection for the Potato Cyst Nematode. Again it would vary as to what pests you have in a state or nation as to what species of pests they are trying to keep out! There is NO reason to worry about bringing in more of a pest or disease that is already rampant in a country.
When it comes to fungi and disease we tend to forget that we bring EXOTIC diseases into our homes with EVERY trip to the super markets or flower shops! If you do a search you will find that 70% of ALL of the flowers sold in the USA are flown in fresh daily from South America.
Notice that the deadly Salmonella in the tomatoes in the USA was ALL the same exact strain of this VERY common disease so it was ONLY coming from one farm or one irrigation water canal system in Mexico but spread by shipping fresh tomatoes into 29 states since April.
Tracing disease and insect spread is a fascinating topic. But the more you learn the more you realize that no ocean is wide enough to protect your country or your yard from any major pests, IF you have the host plants or the habitat that these pests thrive on! Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

2 responses to “Phytosanitary inpections of daffodil bulbs”

  1. David Adams says:
    Maybe we should clarify. The phytosanitary requirement is that for the country to which the bulbs are being shipped. Thus the requirement by the USA for bulbs from New Zealand reads “Grown on land microscopically examined by the NZ MAF within the last 12 months. Land found free of Globodera rostochiensis and globodera pallida.”
    There is no other requirement from the US authorities for any other pest or disease although our NZ bulbs will not get a phyto until individually inspected prior to posting. Virus, fly or bulb nematode are not considered a problem by US authorities even though we, as specialist growers, are very careful about them.
    Because New Zealand is agriculturally dependant the requirements for entry here are very strict. The point made about regulations being drawn up by people with no experience of narcissus is valid. As Peter said we get charged $130 per pathogen if something is on our imported bulbs. All they do is confirm that it is penicillium and then proceed with revenue gathering.
    A few years ago I carried bulbs into LAX. I told the inspector they were narcissus. “What’s that?” he asked.
    “Daffodil bulbs”
    “What are they? I did my degree in alfalfa” Need we say any more.
  2. Denis Dailey says:

    I was inquring why Hawaii required all fruit be inspected before a direct flight from Honolulu to Minneapolis/St.Paul in February. He was concerned their bugs would hurt our fruit trees. When I informed him it would be an unusal bug that coulc survive a frost free growing season on 90 to 110 days he was convinced I was teasing him. He was a graduate of the University of Hawaii, School of Agriculture.