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CPS: Flood Rapid Response


Although it is known that flooding can introduce microbiological, chemical, and physical hazards onto croplands, little data is available on the presence and persistence of contamination post-flooding over time. This rapid response project aims to quantify select microbiological indicators and pathogens in flooded fields over time. While pathogens in the soil will usually die-off rapidly over time due to drying conditions or fluctuations in temperature, floodwaters have the potential to contain large amounts of human sewage and runoff from animal production areas that could greatly impact die-off over time. Currently, LGMA recommends a waiting period of 60 days before replanting to minimize the risk of pathogens persisting in the soil into the growing season. This waiting period can be shortened to 30 days with the inclusion of soil testing. In general, comprehensive testing for pathogens is not recommended for all flooding situations, but if there is a reason to believe that the soil is heavily contaminated with human pathogens, food crop producers may want to consider microbial testing following a flood. Depending on the flooding circumstances, pathogens of interest may include the following: -Bacterial pathogens, such as Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, and Clostridium perfringens -Viral pathogens, such as hepatitis -Parasites, such as Cryptosporidiumand Giardia

Channah Rock, Ph.D.; Kerry Cooper, Ph.D.; Charles Gerba, Ph.D. University of Arizona; Debankur Sanyal, Ph.D.
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