Dümmen Clarifies Growers’ Options Regarding The Kansas Department Of Agriculture Regulation On Petunias

The Dümmen Group has released a statement to clarify growers’ options regarding regulations the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) placed on petunia cuttings sourced from Dümmen’s Las Mercedes, El Salvador farm during weeks 51 through 7.

In a March 6 letter to live plant dealers from the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) Plant Protection and Weed Control Program, the KDA announced that nearly 30 varieties or planting groups have tested positive for TMV in Kansas. In accordance with the Kansas Pest Freedom Standards (K.A.R. 4-15-10), it is ordering all petunias that were received from the Dümmen Group’s Las Mercedes, El Salvador farm, either through direct shipment from weeks 51 to 7, or rooted at Welby Gardens or Timbuk II rooting stations and then shipped to growers in Kansas, be destroyed. You can also read the KDA’s original regulations and read the interview with KDA’s Jeff Vogel.

The Dummen Group’s Kate Santos sent the following letter to growers and brokers today (March 21) to clarify the KDA’s regulations. Santos said she reviewed this document with the KDA, which is in agreement with the points addressed.

From The Dummen Group:
Grower Options
Re: Kansas Department of Agriculture Regulation
Dear Partners,
We have received a number of questions following the letter sent out by the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) on March 6. Following this communication we have been working with the KDA to best support safeguarding all affected by this situation and providing the best solutions to ensure that growers and retailers alike are able to move into this spring with confidence.

Key Clarifications

  • The KDA communication ONLY APPLIES TO: Red Fox petunias from El Salvador between weeks 51 and 7 (as petunia shipments stopped from that farm after that week) or rooted liners shipped between weeks 3 and7.
  • All other Red Fox products (such as verbena, calibrachoa, lobelia) shipped from El Salvador (or other farms or rooting stations) are NOT REQUIRED to be destroyed NOR PROHIBITED from shipment.
  • Growers ARE NOT required to destroy (within Kansas) or stop shipment of (outside of Kansas) Red Fox petunias shipped from all other offshore farms (Guatemala, Israel, Ethiopia)
  • Red Fox petunia rooted liners from El Salvador WERE DESTROYED after week 7 at all rooting stations, including Timbuk and Welby.
  • STARTING WEEK 8, any Red Fox petunia rooted liner material shipped by all rooting stations, including Timbuk and Welby, has been from alternate CLEAN STOCK sources and therefore IS NOT required to be destroyed or is prohibited from shipment.
  • Timbuk and Welby ARE NOT BANNED from shipping their current Red Fox inventory (petunia or other) into the state of Kansas, nor does all inventory shipped from their facilities need to be destroyed.

Next Steps

Companies within the State of Kansas who have Red Fox petunias from El Salvador that test negative for TMV and have chosen to keep the plant material:

      1. Must sign a compliance agreement with the state of Kansas
      2. In this agreement the grower agrees to abide by best management practices to isolate the crop for a period of 28 days (starting from the date they received the cuttings or rooted liners)
      3. If at the end of 28 days the crop is inspected by the state and tests negative, then they are approved to ship to their customer.
      4. This form can be obtained by the Kansas State of Agriculture.
    • Contact: Jon Appel: Jon.Appel@KDA.KS.GOV; Jeff Vogel: Jeff.Vogel@KDA.KS.GOV

Companies shipping into the State of Kansas: 
When shipping Red Fox petunias, include the following documents in their shipments:

  1. Certification (copy only) from their State Department of Agriculture that their greenhouse operation has been inspected (most grower operations should have this certification already)
  2. Proof of Origin of the plant material (any one of the following): Plant labels, invoice, bill of lading
  • As this Act technically applies to all plant material shipping into the state of Kansas, we recommend at a minimum growers shipping petunias (regardless of the breeder), have the above certifications available, should they be inspected and requested by the Kansas Department of Agriculture
  • Please keep in mind regardless of origin, past inspections, or testing, petunias are subject to testing by the Kansas Department of Agriculture and if found positive for TMV will be subject to regulation.

On behalf of the Dümmen Group, we would like to emphasize that clean supply of Red Fox petunias has been in place starting week 8 and that more than 10 million clean Red Fox petunia cuttings have since been delivered from both our off-shore supply sources and our rooting station partners like Timbuk and Welby.

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