We asked Brian Smith co-owner of Potadaho Seed Services in the USA the following questions.
Tests normally purchased? PVY Test and Phytophthora Test (Occasionally)
Why do you use the tests? We use the tests to identify PVY in potato plants out in the field so that we can know with certainty that we are finding it and can show all the workers in the field exactly what PVY looks like visually so we can all identify it.
Which crops/plants do you test? We test many different varieties of potatoes, from Nuclear to G3 generations.
Where do you test? We use the tests in eastern Oregon and Montana currently. We have used them in past years also in Nevada, California, and Idaho. They have been used in sample plots from New York that were planted out in Hawaii for testing as well.
What is the size of area you test? We test in fields ranging from .01 acres to 200 acres. We usually will start with a composite test of leaves from several plants to make sure that PVY is present in the field. We use multiple leaf composites to ensure a positive result if any of the suspected plants have PVY.
When is you testing season? Our testing season starts for the summer early in June and late in August. During the winter months we help with a winter grow out in Hawaii for sample testing purposes, during which we use the tests in the months of December and January.
How many times per day/week do test? During the busy summer months we will try to test in each seed plot where PVY is suspected to be present, ranging from just a couple tests a day up to 5 or more sometimes, depending on the type of seed plot.
Do our tests help protect yield? The tests protect the yield of the farmers by allowing our crew to more accurately identify and eliminate PVY, since the disease can reduce yields and spread through potatoes every year they are planted. The more we dig out from each earlier generation, the more yield we can prevent from being lost.