Economic Impact of Potato Virus Y (PVY) in Europe


As the fourth most prevalent food crop, potato is very important in the global economy, but it is affected by numerous pests, and by many bacterial, viral and fungal diseases. Among these diseases, potato virus Y (PVY), which is transmitted from plant to plant by aphids, causes significant yield losses, but as far as we know, the economic impact of PVY in Europe has not been quantified. Our economic study covers a period of 13 years between 2004 and 2017 and is based on an analysis of statistical, economic and agronomic data, obtained from various stakeholders in the potato sector in Switzerland and the European Union, as well as from field experiments. In Switzerland, the economic loss due to PVY for seed and ware production was estimated at about 2000 and 200 CHF/ha, respectively. For the European Union, the annual losses were estimated at 187 M EUR, respectively 96 and 91 M EUR for seed and ware. These losses were due mainly to the cost of chemical treatments applied in seed potato production and the yield drop in ware potato production. However, based on literature, these significant losses are lower than those caused by potato late blight (Phytophthora infestans), which is considered to be the most economically damaging potato disease in Europe.