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New report outlines and quantifies catastrophic loss from the tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV)

iUNU published a new report on the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) titled Learning to Live With ToBRFV. The report contains information on how ToBRFV spreads, how to detect ToBRFV, diagnostics for every stage of production, and more.

The report comprehensively looks at the risks of ToBRFV for tomato growers. The research was conducted over the course of 2022, including quantitative and qualitative methods. IUNU horticulturalists surveyed a majority of the commercial tomato growers in North America to collect information on loss, prevention, and opportunities.

IUNU believes empowering growers start with hearing their stories in the greenhouse and understanding the true impact of risks like ToBRFV. In addition to the survey, IUNU listened to growers and industry experts about how ToBRFV is impacting their business, what resources they need, and how this virus has changed the industry. The goal is to share these perspectives, engage in advocacy for growers, highlight industry progress, provide actionable tools, and determine critical next steps for growing in this new environment.

“ToBRFV is the scariest thing I have ever been around in a tomato greenhouse,” said one grower who has managed ToBRFV through several crop cycles in the report. Another said, “It’s a company killer.” Despite the knowledge that this virus is devastating for businesses, we haven’t yet defined catastrophic loss. According to the report, a catastrophic loss is defined as a loss amounting to the lesser of $17 million or 6% of annual revenue (to account for the scale of an operation) in a given year due to ToBRFV.

The report is free and can be downloaded here. IUNU’s horticulturalists also created two supplemental items: a diagnostic testing matrix and a biosecurity checklist to help growers determine which testing is right for them and to strengthen their integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) programs. These supplemental materials are also included in the report.

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