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Science is an important cornerstone in the verification of seed quality. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries subjects samples to the Elisa test. A representative potato is taken before the crop is harvested or later in the shed. The tubers are cultivated in a greenhouse in order to obtain young plants. The juice from the leaves is brought into contact with different sera. Any discoloration clearly indicates the presence of viral infections.
The viruses to be investigated depend on the class identified during the discolouration process. The results of the Elisa tests should confirm the provisional classification of the best seed (made during the last field inspection). If this is not the case, the plot in question is declassified or rejected for seed.
Immediately after storage, samples are taken from each batch to check for brown rot and ring rot. This guarantees that the seed is free of dangerous quarantinable diseases.
Storage and sorting
The grower or processor storing the crop must organize a stocking plan. The seed batches receive a clear identification throughout the entire storage process. This identification aims at, and guarantees, start-to-finish traceability of each stocked batch. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries keeps a close watch during sorting and grading on the due application of the current quality and plant-health regulations. Only potatoes that satisfy the standards receive final classification.