Russia banned imports of Syngenta sunflower seeds

The Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) has banned the import of sunflower seeds sold by Syngenta Seeds (part of the Swiss Syngenta Group) to Russia.

These measures have been taken due to the detection of sunflower phomopsis (Diaporthe helianthi). Taking into account the analysis of phytosanitary risks, emergency measures were taken and from November 21, 2022, the import of sunflower seeds from all shipping sites of Syngenta España and Syngenta France is prohibited.

Phomopsis sunflower is also known as gray or brown spotting and cancer of sunflower stems. It’s one of the most harmful, intensively spreading sunflower diseases in the world.

The natural spread of the pathogen by means of ascospores and other infectious structures occurs over a limited distance. The main source of infection is infected seed material.

Sunflower seeds can carry infection in the form of mycelium, pycnidia and pycnospores located in the tissues or on the surface of the achenes. Seeds that contain a latent infection of the Phomopsis pathogen, in case of spillage along the way, in places of storage, processing and (or) use as bird feed, are a potential hazard.

The causative agent of the disease remains on the affected stems, baskets, leaves and is transferred with plant debris.

Sunflower seed yield losses during the disease can be 80%.

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