By JOHN O'CONNELL

Capital Press

The USDA on Tuesday will share the results of a five-year review of its program to eradicate pale cyst nematode in Idaho.

Tina Gresham, director of the program administered by the agency's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said officials are now analyzing material from the review and are "looking forward to sharing the message" about the review on Tuesday.

PCN was first discovered in Idaho in 2006, from tare dirt taken at a Blackfoot grading facility.

The program identified nine infested fields by 2008. At the end of 2010, after 305,000 samples tested free of PCN, 30,000 acres of fields facing special sanitation and other requirements due to ties with infested fields were deregulated.

Beginning in 2010, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture started post-regulation surveys of those deregulated fields. Three newly infested fields were identified in 2011, including two that were sampled by ISDA.

Nematode viability has been reduced by an estimated 99 percent in fields remaining under quarantine in the program, officials estimated this winter.

The cost of the program, confined to Bingham and Bonneville counties, has averaged $11 million annually, with about half of the program cost going toward repeated methyl bromide and Telone II chemical treatments.

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