A new strain of the potato disease 'blackleg' has been confirmed in Northern Ireland, Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew has said.
Infected plants were discovered after an examination of 62 local crops was carried out by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and the agriculture department.
However the department say the outbreak has been "fully contained", and that measures have been put in place to prevent further spread.
"The discovery of any new crop disease is always a worrying development for growers, but I wish to re-assure them that this outbreak has been fully contained by my officials on the ground," Ms Gildernew said.
"Any machinery and equipment that may have come into contact with the crop must be cleaned and disinfected before coming into contact with any other potatoes. The affected crop will be disposed of under the supervision of DARD and no part of it will be replanted."
RT @FarmingPhotos: @GrimmeUK @PotatoCouncil @potatobusiness @TheFarmingForum @FMJmagazine @UKFarmersReview @thepotatogirls http://t.co/PbcB…
Meet Key Techology's new area sales manager: http://t.co/0qIaSKBebS
Join us on LinkedIn too http://t.co/F5tCsxGOUr