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1 9108 MINUTES NATIONAL CLEAN PLANT NETWORK FRUIT TREE SECTION

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1 9108 MINUTES NATIONAL CLEAN PLANT NETWORK FRUIT TREE SECTION Powered By Docstoc
					9/1/08
                                  MINUTES
                       NATIONAL CLEAN PLANT NETWORK
                             FRUIT TREE SECTION
                                 July 7, 2008


The meeting of the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) – Fruit Tree Section was
convened at 9:00 a.m. on July 7, 2008, in the AGR Room of the Buehler Alumni Center
on the U.C. Davis campus. Ken Eastwell, Director of the NRSP-5 Program at
Washington State University, acted as moderator.

The following were present: Murali Bandla (USDA-APHIS,PPQ), Mike Colvin (CDFA),
Mike Cunningham (FPS), Sam Doane (J. Frank Schmidt, OR), John Duarte (Duarte
Nursery-CA), Ken Eastwell (WSU), Bev Ferguson (FPS), Deborah Golino (FPS), John
Griesbach (Ascent Agr. Services, OR), Lauri Guerra (WA State Dept. Agr.), Jan
Hedberg (OR Dept. Agr.), Bill Howell (WSU), Justin Jacobs (FPS), Carole Lamb (FPS),
Bob Martin (USDA/ARS, OR), Susan McCarthy (CDFA), Judit Monis (STA Laboratories,
Inc.), Waclawa Pudlo (FPS), Ken Rauscher (MI Dept. of Agr.), Adib Rowhani (FPS),
Erich Rudyj (USDA-APHIS, PPQ), Simon Scott (Clemson), Sue Sim (FPS), Mysore
Sudarshana (USDA/ARS, CA), Padma Sudarshana, Nancy Sweet (FPS), Athar Tariq
(CDFA), Dan Thompson (CFIA, Canada), Ruth Welliver (PA Dept.of Agr.), Thomas
Wessels (WA State Dept. Agr.), Robert Woolley (Dave Wilson Nursery, CA).

USDA Perspectives
Dr. Murali Bandla and Erich Rudyj (USDA-APHIS, PPQ) presented the USDA vision of
NCPN Governance and summary of funding alternatives. The following structure for the
NCPN was proposed.

1. NCPN Governing Body (Tier 1)

Three USDA agencies (ARS, APHIS, CSREES) collaborated on a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) directing cooperative participation in activities related to the
National Clean Plant Network (NCPN). The MOU agreed upon by the three USDA
agencies presents a single USDA voice to the NCPN. The primary substantive articles
in the MOU are 1, 2, and 6, which contains the 12 guiding principles of the MOU. The
three signatory agencies will pool their resources and energies and sponsor the
administrative costs of NCPN governance. A copy of the MOU was distributed at the
meeting.

The top tier of the NCPN structure is the NCPN Governing Body, composed of a Core
Working Group and seven appointed (“invited”) members. The Core Working Group
(CWG) consists of one representative appointed by the USDA from each of the three
MOU agencies (APHIS/ARS/CSREES). The three CWG members will have no voting
rights but can veto recommendations of the Governing Body. The APHIS
representative will act as the CWG Chair for the first year.



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The CWG will appoint the seven voting members of the Governing Body (including one
fruit tree network member, one grape network member, one state department of
agriculture employee, one CGC employee, and three other invited members). The
primary function of the Tier 1 body will be to allocate the NCPN funds to the various
commodity networks. The Federal Advisory Council Act (FACA) provides that only
federal or state employees can participate in the distribution decisions for federal
money. The CWG is required to appoint state or federal employees to act as voting
members on the NCPN Governing Body. The question of whether university employees
are state employees is under examination. Non-voting subject matter experts will be
invited to meetings as observers and advisors regarding proposals.

The CWG intends to recruit and hire a full-time coordinator for the NCPN program and
the Plant Health Program division of PPQ is providing the funding for this permanent
position.

The Tier 1 NCPN Governing Board will meet four times per year.

2. The National Fruit Tree Clean Plant Network (NCPN-FT) (Tier 2)

The Fruit Tree section has decided to unify into a single national network and not split
into regions (as the Grape Section will). The primary responsibility of the NCPN-FT will
be to identify priorities and allocate funds received from the Tier 1 body1. The voting
members of the Tier 2 NCPN-FT will be composed of representatives from academia,
industry and state government. The FACA rules do not apply at this level, so university
employees are clearly eligible to be voting members. Subject matter experts will be
invited to participate in the discussions and offer advice. A Chair and a Vice-Chair will
be elected for two-year terms.

The proposal is to put the headquarters of the NCPN-FT at Prosser, Washington. It is
proposed that USDA will supply one full-time staff position for NCPN-FT administrative
support2.

The structure for the NCPN must be in place by October, 2008, as the federal money
will be in an account waiting to be distributed. The USDA speakers recommended that
the NCPN adopt a charter for governance (like that of the National Plant Board).
Alternatively, the money can be transferred directly from USDA to institutions by a
contract procedure (MOU).




1
  Post meeting note: APHIS is seeking a legal opinion whether the Tier 2 body can “allocate” funds or
make recommendations to Tier-1 for the distribution of funding.
2
  Post meeting note: APHIS clarified that support for the administrative assistant would come from NCPN
funds.



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3. Regional Networks (Tier 3)

The NCPN-FT will not have Tier 3 regional bodies. The grape section of the NCPN is
divided into Western and Eastern regions; there are two Tier 3 bodies for that network.

Erich Rudyj spoke about the funding available for activities related to the NCPN. He
stated that in FY 2008 APHIS allocated money from internal discretionary funds for
NCPN start-up activities. $750,000 is promised to various existing grape and stone fruit
programs to be used for quarantine activities associated with Partnership programs. A
cooperative agreement between APHIS and U.C. Davis granted $345,000 to
Foundation Plant Services for grape quarantine activities. Cornell University (NY) will
receive $111,150 for importation and related services for cold-weather grape cultivars
and rootstocks. Washington State University ($225,000) and Clemson University
($49,980) will receive funds for stone/pome fruit activities.

The recent Farm Bill appropriated $20 million ($5 million annually for 4 years) for clean
plant programs. Congress provided general guidance to the USDA for allocation of
Farm Bill resources by way of language in the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of
2008. Congress directed the USDA Secretary to establish a “National Clean Plant
Network” to produce and maintain clean material throughout the U.S. and, where
practicable, to use existing state and federal facilities for the clean plant centers. Crops
such as “grapes, apples, peaches and other fruits” were mentioned as being particularly
vulnerable to viruses.

The U.S. Congress established a Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) within the
USDA to handle special funding initiatives. The CCC will fund the NCPN Farm Bill
initiative. The $5 million Farm Bill funds are anticipated to be obligated by the federal
government within each fiscal year, but the funding is “no-year money” and, as such,
need not be completely obligated during that year. The bill specifically states that the
money will be “available until expended”. Any unobligated money remains available in
subsequent years for continued obligation. There is no legal limitation on the time
within which the money must be spent by any recipient. The biological cycle(s) inherent
in clean plant work will be considered in assessing the appropriate length for a project.
The money for federal fiscal year 2009 will be available after October, 2008.

The commodities identified for receipt of funds in the first year are grapes and fruit
trees. It is expected that NCPN projects will result from cooperative agreements
incorporating cost sharing and matching funds for maximum leveraging of Farm Bill
funds. Work plans, expenditure reports, and progress reports on performance
benchmarks are required for projects funded by Farm Bill money.

Erich Rudyj indicated that NCPN activities are not limited to Farm Bill funding. Federal
agencies with available resources (such as APHIS and CSREES), state agencies and
cooperators may be tapped for support of the NCPN. Specialty crops funds are also
available. “Cost sharing” of recipients of Farm Bill funding is requested. This
strengthens the program and improves the argument for future funding.



                                                                                           3
Beyond 2012, there is the option of renewed funding under the next Farm Bill.
Alternatively, a permanent NCPN funding line could evolve in the budget of one of the
three USDA Core Working Group agencies.

Deborah Golino commented that it is important to focus the NCPN funds on activities
that precede the stage where nurseries start making “plants for planting”; such activities
include importation, quarantine, and screening for pathogens. The states should set the
standards for the regulation of nurseries for the certification programs; block grant and
specialty crop money might be available to fund those efforts.

Bill Howell inquired as to how industry (grower) activity would be captured within the
clean plant network effort. Mark Black from Texas proposed a diagnostic clinic for
testing of grower samples. Dr. Golino indicated that concept goes beyond what the
Farm Bill intended for the clean plant network.

Governance of the Fruit Tree Component of the NCPN

Governance was the key issue to be decided at the meeting. Ken Eastwell proposed
that the group discussion of the composition and structure of the NCPN-FT governing
board be moved to this part of the agenda. He suggested that the following issues be
addressed: the structure of the NCPN-FT in general; specifics of the structure of the
NCPN-FT level body (Tier 2); and a process for nominating and selecting individuals for
the governing board, to be completed by August/September, 2008. Issues such as
discussions on the foundation and certification programs are issues requiring
subcommittee work and were delayed to a future time.

Single vs. Divided Network

The decision was made at the meeting in April to have a single national body (one
administrative body) for the NCPN-FT because the fruit tree group is smaller and less
divisive. Ken Eastwell invited comments on whether that decision should be affirmed
and mentioned the need for accommodation of regional differences.

The group acknowledged that there are regional differences in the fruit tree industry in
the U.S. Simon Scott noted that the national grape network has been structured into
regional subdivisions (East and West) at a Tier 3 level. Ruth Welliver explained that the
two regional grape groups were attributable to different varieties and different pathogen
standards in each region. As current structure of the NCPN-FT would not have
separate regional programs each focused on unique pathogens and varieties.

Dr. Scott commented on regional differences with stone fruits, especially regarding
bacterial diseases in the southeastern U.S. For example, the California fruit tree
industry is dominated by stone fruit, but California plant material does not grow well in
the Southeast and vice versa. Dr. Scott explained that there is a longstanding
perception in the Southeast that programs supported in Washington and California did



                                                                                            4
not consider the interests of growers in the southeastern U.S. Bill Howell stated that
virus testing and other requirements would be the same throughout the U.S. Ken
Eastwell indicated that certain low chill varieties cannot be maintained in a foundation
program at Prosser, WA so a southeastern block would be a valuable asset. It could
also house other fruit tree cultivars of particular importance in the south.

Robert Woolley commented that regional industry representation is weak in the
structure currently proposed for the national fruit tree network. Grower representation
on the board can be insured either by including industry members as voting members or
subject matter experts. Bill Howell indicated that it is important for growers to
understand the concept of the NCPN and its potential benefit to them in the commercial
certification programs. The industry representatives on the board should represent all
components of the industry (nurseries, production, growers).

The group discussed the need to include standards for ornamental fruit trees in the
NCPN-FT. All the crops considered in the NCPN-FT standards must be within the
genera Malus, Prunus, Pyrus, and Cydonia, the four genera that have been the focus of
NRSP-5 Program. Ornamentals and fruit bearing varieties currently undergo the same
testing for the same pathogens. Ken Eastwell stated that ornamentals are included in
the rules/requirements for international distribution of the genera. His intent would be to
include the ornamental varieties in the NCPN-FT standards.

Ken Eastwell and Ruth Welliver felt that regional differences could be accommodated
within a national fruit tree program and that a single national entity could adequately
represent regional interests within the U.S. Diverse industry (grower) and regional
needs could be addressed through regional representation on the national board,
subcommittee work and subject matter experts. The structure of the NCPN-FT can be
modified at a later date if the single national entity is not effective in meeting all regional
needs.

Composition of the Tier 2 Board for the NCPN-FT

The discussion then focused on the composition of the board for the NCPN-FT. Ken
Eastwell indicated that it was important to have broad representation from industry,
regulators and research as well as from the “four major regions” within the U.S. The
intent is to secure broad national representation.

The four CSREES administrative regions (used in the NRSP-5 progam) are: Northeast,
North Central, South, West. Bill Howell stated that the regions for fruit growing do not
break down along the same geographic lines as the CSREES divisions. Bob Martin
suggested language providing “diverse representation by production areas”.

The National Plant Board (NPB) regions are: Northeast, Central, South, West. Dr.
Bandla indicated that the regulatory (state employee) representation might be drawn
from these regions. Nominees for the regulatory openings on the Tier 2 board could be
made by the NPB. Dr. Bandla indicated that it was not necessary to decide the regions



                                                                                              5
at the meeting and that the NPB would ensure that all crops are represented by the
state regulatory members nominated for the board. Ken Rasucher proposed that the
NPB designate three representatives from the general tree fruit growing regions
(including the Central with the Northeast). Simon Scott was not in favor of allowing a
Southeast Plant Board member to represent the southeastern fruit tree industry.

The group approved the following for the nine voting members of the Tier 2 NCPN-FT
board:
1. three industry members (producer, nursery and grower)
2. three regulatory members (state employees)
3. two research members (academia/ARS)
4. one CGC member (Crop Germplasm Committee)
It was stipulated that the selection of the industry and regulatory members should, in
total, be selected to provide representation from all production areas.1

There will be several non-voting members of the Tier 2 board:
1. an NCPN Governing Body observer
2. an APHIS (PPQ) observer
3. subject matter experts

The Tier 2 board will convene two times per year. The Chair and Vice-Chair will be
chosen for two-year terms; it was suggested that the Chair and Vice-Chair could be
selected either from the clean plant network at large or from within the nine voting
members. The source of the Chair and Vice-Chair positions was not resolved at the
meeting. The Vice-Chair will rotate to the Chair position when the Chair’s term expires.
Mandatory rotation off the board after terms expire (term limits) was considered and
rejected. Eastwell proposed that nominations and re-appointments are sought every
two years to allow flexibility in the composition of the board to meet changing demands;
re-appointment to serve more than one term is possible. Dr. Bandla indicated that
further detail on terms and conditions of the offices should be left to the charter.

The group agreed that the headquarters of the National Fruit Tree Clean Plant Network
would be at Prosser, Washington. A full-time administrative position will be supplied by
the USDA2 to support NCPN activities.

A committee of volunteers was appointed to serve as the nominating committee for the
board: Bill Howell (northwest), Robert Woolley (west), Ken Rauscher (northeast) and
Simon Scott (southest). The nominations should be assembled and forwarded to Ken
Eastwell by July 21. There shall be a subsequent e-mail vote by the attendees at the
past two meetings (April 8 and July 7).



1
  Post meeting note: Dr. Murali (USDA-APHIS-PPQ) recommended addition of an extension person to
the Tier II fruit tree governing body.
2
  Post meeting note: APHIS clarified that support for the administrative assistant would come from NCPN
funds.


                                                                                                      6
Nomination of Representatives to NCPN Tier 1 Governing Body

The NCPN Governing Body (Tier 1) will convene four times per year and be responsible
for allocating the federal funds to the commodity networks. The voting members of the
Governing Body must be governmental employees (state or federal). The issue of
whether or not public university personnel constitute government employees is still
uncertain. Erich Rudyj volunteered that he would facilitate review of appointment letters
to determine status of university employees as State employees.

One of the proposed members of the Governing Body is a CGC (Crop Germplasm
Committee) representative. Dr. Bandla indicated that he proposed a CGC
representative for the Tier 1 body because there had been an earlier complaint from
USDA scientists that they had not been included in the process. Each crop commodity
has an extensive network of germplasm experts, who are federal employees. Bill
Howell stated that a CGC person should be on the Tier 2 level NCPN-FT board
because of the experience working with industry members. The CGC has an interest in
preserving clean germplasm for industry. A CGC representative was ultimately included
at both the Tier 1 and 2 levels.

The final agreement on Tier 2 representation to the Tier 1 Governing Body was that the
NCPN-FT (Tier 2) shall send two representatives to the Tier 1 body. The nominating
committee should recommend to the CWG two eligible nominees for CWG approval as
representatives to the Tier 1 body. CWG would appoint one for the governing body with
the second person as an alternative. The alternate would attend the meetings as SME
and would fill in when the primary candidate is not available. The idea of automatically
sending the Chair and/or Vice-Chair of the NCPN-FT (Tier 2) board if they are state or
federal employees was rejected.

NAPPO Standards and Nomenclature

Dan Thompson from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency spoke about NAPPO
standards and nomenclature. There is a great deal of confusion internationally about
terminology. His advice was that NCPN nomenclature should conform to that proposed
by NAPPO for movement of plants between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. NAPPO
uses the “Generation” (1, 2, 3, etc) designations for different levels of plant material.
The original plant that is tested is Generation 1 (G1, the foundation level in California or
Washington). If the plant is propagated and moved, the new plant goes to Generation
2.

A discussion ensued about the nature of Generation 1 material that is propagated and
moved to another location within a foundation screenhouse or vineyard. Most
attendees considered the propagated material to be Generation 1 material, since it
remained at the foundation vineyard or screenhouse. This could be indicted by the use
of suffixes such as G1a and G1b, but must be clearly defined. The growing consensus
is that the Generation language signifies the following: Generation 1 (G1) = source
(foundation) material; Generation 2 (G2) = material propagated from Generation 1 and



                                                                                           7
moved to a nursery; Generation 3 (G3) = material forwarded to the grower. There is no
limit on the time period that a Generation 2 tree can remain a Generation 2 tree;
retesting of mother trees mitigates the risk.

Regional Foundation Plantings

Ken Eastwell noted that a plum pox virus infection in Pennsylvania in 1999 resulted in
the loss of access to some unique varieties because of the imposed quarantine. This
highlighted the need for redundancy in foundation plantings as a hedge against
disastrous events such as disease outbreaks and inclement weather. Alternatively, he
suggested that most of the important commercial cultivars are present in state
registered mother blocks; these blocks could serve as a source material if foundation
material becomes tainted. Because these accessions are likely still virus-free, therapy
to remove viruses is not likely, and re-testing could therefore be completed in a
relatively short time frame. There are currently five to six state certification programs,
some of which are inactive at the current time. California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and
Washington have active programs. Careful coordination of foundation and certification
inventories would ensure that critical varieties are represented.

The group discussed the need for redundancy in foundation blocks. The Prosser
program (NRSP-5) purges its public varieties (less than 50% of the total) every few
years. Improvements in heat therapy technology and production techniques allow
retesting and repropagating from certified/registered blocks to regain foundation status
within a few years. Owners of proprietary material have the opportunity to maintain it at
a cost. On occasion, the Clonal Germplasm Repositories will take some of the purged
plant material.

The purpose of foundation blocks is to provide clean plant material from which nurseries
can renew registered blocks, not as germplasm repositories. Maintenance of
foundation plants is costly and accessions housed in them should be selected wisely.
The foundation blocks at Prosser are tested regularly for viruses that are vectored.
NAPPO regulations do not specify testing intervals. Adib Rowhani stated that it would
be a good idea to have a back-up foundation orchard and that it is important to test
annually for viruses that are vectored. Robert Woolley stated that it is not economically
feasible to require regular testing for exotic diseases and that testing only for serious
diseases that pose a real threat should be done. Ken Eastwell recommended that the
NCPN-FT appoint a subcommittee to consider, on an ongoing basis, these details of the
program.

The conclusion on foundation block material was to maintain the foundation blocks
(original tested material – Generation 1) at Prosser and U.C. Davis under the status
quo. Discussion of the details of the foundation level programs (eg. the size of the
blocks) was tabled for the time being. Further discussions are necessary on the need to
establish a low-chilling foundation block for peach trees in the Southeast and the
possibility of having it at Clemson.




                                                                                             8
State Certification Programs (Registered Mother Blocks)

Ken Eastwell indicated that an important focus of the NCPN effort for fruit trees should
be on the certification programs (the plants that are delivered to the grower). John
Duarte commented that the existing nuclear (foundation) blocks are good but the quality
of plant material that reaches the growers is not good. He suggested that NCPN
resources be devoted to determining the cause of the problem and preventing it in the
future. Bill Howell reiterated the importance of industry participation on the NCPN-FT
board.

Ken Eastwell stated that the NCPN mission should be to harmonize the standards and
terminology in the certification programs with the eventual goal of virus-free fruit trees
being the standard for inter-state commerce in the U.S. Much of the monitoring of the
programs can be done relatively economically. The concern of the NCPN-FT will be
balancing the need for phytosanitary protection against industry concerns that include
the cost of indexing and other needs of the certification programs such as trueness-to-
type.

After the April 8, 2008 meeting, Ken Eastwell reorganized and improved the Pome and
Stone Fruit disease spreadsheets that the group had reviewed. The items displayed on
the spreadsheets constitute a list of NAPPO pathogens and ISHS tests, and are not yet
NCPN recommendations. The ultimate goal of the NCPN-FT is to produce a list of
pathogens covered by the network and recommendations for “certification standards”.
The nomenclature and testing standards should be harmonized across state
certification programs within the U.S. A subcommittee will be appointed to examine the
testing protocols in detail and address any regional differences.

Dan Thompson characterized the fundamental issue as defining what is meant by
“certified”. John Duarte commented that the word “certification” has different meanings
when used in the context of “phytosanitary certification” versus “performance
certification” within the industry. The NCPN-FT should address both types of certified
status and incorporate both interests in the program. The Prosser (NRSP-5) program is
the only program currently recognized by Canada as performing adequate testing for a
virus-free certification. A state program that uses material originating at Prosser and
maintained thereafter in isolation is also acceptable to Canada.

Ken Eastwell stated that the key issues to address are:
1. standards for inclusion/retention of cultivars in registered mother blocks
2. designation of which viruses to be addressed in certification standards
3. specification of testing procedures and frequency.

He stated that once it is demonstrated that a virus is not present in a plant entering a
registered other block, it may not be necessary to test that plant any further for that virus
if the virus is not known to occur in the area where the mother block is located, or if the
virus is not known to be vectored by other than mechanical means.




                                                                                             9
Dr. Bandla indicated that the USDA wants to see a set of procedures for testing and
monitoring that lead to clean plant material in the industry. The USDA’s desire is for the
NCPN to create a program with testing standards to accomplish that goal.

John Griesbach (Oregon) mentioned that the NCPN could also develop best
management practices (BMPs) as incentives for nurseries and growers. CSREES has
outreach material on developing BMPs. John Duarte commented that quality assurance
programs in a mandatory certification program could result in reduced testing in the end
stages of plant production. Dan Thompson replied that testing is front-end loaded in
most certification programs. That is, most testing occurs at the Generation1 level and
substantially less is required at the level of nursery production in the field.

Ken Eastwell commented that another consideration related to certification programs is
that the ability to test has increased dramatically. A broad spectrum of pathogens can
be covered with relatively few tests. Disease pressures do differ in the Northwest,
Northeast and South. It will be necessary to strike a balance between security and
economy. Dan Thompson suggested that one could trade off the need for some testing
requirements for increased isolation distances.

Ken Eastwell concluded that mandatory certification is not a goal of the NCPN-FT at the
present time. The long-term (10 year) goal is “certification as the level of choice” for
commerce in the states, providing more ease in the movement of the plants. The short
term goal is the development of protocols and standards to develop quality plant
material. Ken Eastwell emphasized that NCPN-FT must develop a four-year plan with
goals and show significant progress toward those goals by 2012.

Outreach: Website, logo, acronym

Simon Scott suggested that the NCPN create a user-friendly website to explain the
NCPN concept to industry and other interested parties. A more descriptive acronym
and identifiable logo are also important as part of the NCPN “public face”. Dr. Bandla
indicated that there are CSREES funds available for those outreach activities. He also
mentioned that the NCPN should have a label that carries assurances that the plant
material was developed adhering to NCPN-FT standards and practices.

Future Actions

One of the next steps for the fruit tree section of the NCPN is to examine the regulations
of the state certification programs with an eye towards harmonizing the pathogen testing
and terminology as much as possible. It may not be possible for some states to
incorporate by reference into their regulations language that states that NCPN-FT
standards and any updates thereof are automatically incorporated into state regulations.
State regulations could be amended to include updated testing protocols.

Ken Rauscher suggested an alternative plan where the NCPN would mandate certain
standards that the states must meet in order to qualify for clean plant programs. The



                                                                                        10
program would be similar to that established by the recent seed potato MOU, where the
Plant Board and APHIS have oversight and auditing responsibilities. The seed potato
program (MOU) specifies that there will be no cost to APHIS for provision of services.
The difference with fruit trees is that the industry is not an active party supporting the
reform, as was the seed potato industry.

The consensus of the group was that testing be required for a core group of pathogens
(mostly viruses) for all regional programs, that certain optional testing could be required
as needed to address regional needs, and that the NCPN standards accept some but
not necessarily all of the pathogen testing contained in the recommended NAPPO
standards. The primary concept is to establish a minimum testing protocol necessary
for approval by the NCPN. State oversight of implementation of NCPN standards must
be addressed. Since APHIS cannot audit state programs, any audit requirement will
have to be satisfied by hiring private auditors or other alternative method.

A subcommittee was appointed to examine the state certification regulations and two
spreadsheets resulting from the April 8 meeting (Pome fruits and Stone fruits) and to
create a recommended list for NCPN testing for pathogens of interest. The
subcommittee includes: Ruth Welliver (Chair), Joe Foster or his nominee, Lauri Guerra,
Susan McCarthy, Sid Sedegui, Robert Woolley. A working draft should be completed
by January 1, 2009. The draft document would then be circulated to regulators and
scientists for comment.

Ruth Welliver clarified that the subcommittee should first address the testing standards
for foundation level material prior to standards for state certification programs. Bill
Howell and John Griesbach both commented that establishing foundation material is
routine and that Washington already performs the NAPPO testing protocols. They
believed that a program to deliver quality plants to growers should be the top priority of
the NCPN.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Nancy Sweet
Foundation Plant Services




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