Lincoln, NE (AP) - Nebraska has three inspectors trying to make sure that potato seeds sold in the state are free of pests to protect growers.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports two of the inspectors from the state Department of Agriculture recently quarantined nine boxes of potato seeds at a Lincoln True Value hardware store
The store's owners didn't have paperwork needed to prove the seeds were free of the Columbia root-knot nematode worm. That pest eats the roots of plants like grasses, legumes and cereals.
Nebraska Agriculture Department spokesman Christin Kamm says the inspectors are part of the state's efforts to protect the potato industry here.
Nebraska farmers only grow about 20,000 acres of potatoes each year, but the state provides potato seeds to the rest of the industry.
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