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Plant Health

Pest risk assessment of fire blight in Norway

Report no: 2007: 02

Ordered: 22.07.2006

Published: 09.02.2007

Main message:

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) has conducted a risk assessment of fire blight, requested by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. Fire blight is a pest caused by the bacteria Erwinia amylovora.

The VKM Panel on Plant Health has been responsible for the risk assessment on the basis of a report from the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural Sciences and Environmental Research (Bioforsk Plantehelse).

In order to identify proper control measures and appropriate levels of intervention, VKM was asked to elucidate agronomic and economic consequences for growers from a possible further spread of the disease, especially into important fruit producing districts of Hardanger, Sogn og Fjordane and Telemark. Also, consequences for nurseries, home gardens and the environment should be considered.

In addition to providing an updated pest categorisation for fire blight in relation to Norway, the report provide new results on fruit tree blossom infection risk based on examination of historical climate and phenology data.

The report conclude that if E. amylovora is introduced into the main fruit growing districts of Norway, it is expected that the damage and losses to commercial fruit production and nurseries will be minor, under the current phytosanitary regime in Norway. Relaxation of the regulations in force for fighting fire blight in Norway will increase the expected damage and losses to commercial fruit production and nurseries to a moderate level.

In a hypothetical worst case scenario, where fire blight is fully expressing its potential i.e. crop losses of 50 % for pears and 20 % for apples, the Bioforsk report estimates yearly losses of 15,6 mill NOK for apples and 2,5 mill NOK for pears.

The VKM Panel on Plant Health has been responsible for the risk assessment.

The risk assessment was published February 9th 2007.

The VKM Panel on Plant Health has been responsible for the risk assessment on the basis of a report from the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural Sciences and Environmental Research (Bioforsk Plantehelse).

Contact

Vitenskapskomiteen for mat og miljø

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

T: +47 21 62 28 00
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The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

T: 21 62 28 00
@: vkm@vkm.no

 

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