IDAHO FALLS -- Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture say a microscopic parasite that damages potato crops has been found in three more eastern Idaho fields, bringing the number of infected fields to 15.
Tina Gresham with the USDA told the Post Register that there could be more fields infested with the pale cyst nematode, but so far it appears that efforts to eradicate the pest are having an impact.
The nematode is a microscopic parasite that attacks potato plants' roots and can devastate crop yields. It does not affect the potato itself and doesn't cause any problems in humans or animals.
It was first discovered in eastern Idaho in 2006. Gresham says tests show that nematodes in five of the infected fields are dead, indicating treatment efforts are working.