|A systems approach to nursery and greenhouse phytosanitary certification (SANC) for plant production facilities in the U.S.|
R. WELLIVER (1). (1) Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Harrisburg, PA, U.S.A.
Phytosanitary certification at the international, interstate, and intrastate levels has relied primarily on single inspections or on compliance agreements tied to specific pests of regulatory concern. This leaves certifying agencies and plant producers unprepared for new pests. Any certification or compliance arrangement must be overhauled to include that new pest, resulting in a halt to plant sales for the affected nursery industry. The National Plant Board (NPB), an organization of state plant regulatory officials, has joined with industry, university, and USDA partners to cement a new program of state-level plant certification that relies on creation of a systems approach to pest management in participating plant production facilities. The facility and the state certifying agency work together to assess risk of pest introduction and movement in the facility, identify critical control points, and develop a system of best management practices (BMPs) to mitigate pest movement. This systems approach to nursery certification (SANC) should ease the blocks to normal business practice that pests of regulatory concern can cause, while also improving the quality and pest status of certified nursery stock. A pilot program for SANC is underway in 8 facilities across 8 states in 2015; plans are to expand the pilot in the next two years before offering the SANC Program to all interested parties as an alternative to load-by-load inspection-based certification.