WHEREAS fusarium graminearum is a devastating disease of cereal grains; AND WHEREAS the provincial government has named fusarium graminearum as a pest under the Pest Control Act and has adopted a program to prevent the spread of this disease across the province; AND WHEREAS the cleaning of infected grain can contaminate seed cleaning facilities and transfer the disease to following lots of seed; AND WHEREAS there are some grain cleaning facilities in Alberta that do not require a fusarium graminearum test showing that lot of grain to be free of this disease before entering the premises;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the provincial government to make it mandatory that all grain cleaned at any type of cleaning facility be required to have a fusarium graminearum test showing the grain to be free of this disease; AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the provincial government to provide adequate support to the local authority to enforce this policy.
Some cleaning facilities do not require seed to be tested prior to cleaning. This could place liability directly against the seed cleaning plant and the municipality. Contamination at a seed cleaning plant or a mobile seed cleaner could lead to the disease being spread to other seed being cleaned. This could result in more fields being contaminated and make the seed cleaning plant liable. They would also have to incur the additional cost to clean the seed cleaning facility once it is infected.
The AAMDC has two resolutions currently in effect that are related to this issue. Resolution 2-03S, endorsed at the spring 2003 convention, urges the provincial government to adopt a zero tolerance policy for fusarium graminearum, including livestock feed. Resolution 4-02F, endorsed at the fall 2002 convention, urges Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development to implement a provincially funded testing program that covers producers costs for the fusarium graminearum test.
In 2002 and 2003, the AAMDC called for the implementation of a provincially funded fusarium testing program and for the adoption of a zero tolerance policy for fusarium graminearum. The provincial government is aware of the additional concerns regarding seed cleaning plants and fusarium and has indicated that all issues regarding fusarium control are considered by the Provincial Fusarium Action Committee in its regular reviews of the Alberta Fusarium Graminearum Management Plan. The Alberta Fusarium Graminearum Management Plan was reviewed in March 2007, but no changes were made from the plan originally developed by the Provincial Fusarium Action Committee in August of 2002. The Plan will be reviewed again on April 14, 2008.