Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Wisconsin Passes New Laws on Late Blight Abatement and Certified Seed Potatoes

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signs SB 23 requiring the planting of certified seed potatoes, into law on August 2, 2017.

Congratulations to everyone in the Wisconsin potato industry who worked to get SB 20 (regarding late blight), and SB 23 (regarding certified seed potatoes), passed this session. WPVGA Executive Director Tamas Houlihan testified in favor of these bills along with potato growers J.D. Schroeder and Steve Diercks, as well as UW Plant Pathologist Dr. Amanda Gevens, and Alex Crockford of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program.

On Wednesday, August 2, 2017, Governor Walker signed those bills into law as 2017 WI Act 45 (late blight) and 2017 WI Act 46 (certified seed potatoes.)

Senate Bill 20 – requires that the treatment of late blight of potatoes, when ordered by the Department of Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), must be completed within 24 hours of the order’s issuance, and that the destruction of the plants due to late blight of potatoes, when ordered by DATCP, must be completed within 72 hours of the order’s issuance. Authored by Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) and Representative John Spiros (R-Marshfield), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 45. This Act takes effect on August 4, 2017.

Senate Bill 23 – requires seed potato growers planting five or more acres in a calendar year to use seed potatoes certified by the University of Wisconsin-Madison or from an equivalent program in another state. Authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and Representative John Spiros (R-Marshfield), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred by the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 46. This Act takes effect on January 1, 2018.

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