New organic innovations are being displayed in some industrialised countries of the world. This is happening as dogs are being also trained to sniff out potato crop diseases.
Potato growers from the state of Maine might have a quicker way to protect their crops from dangerous diseases, thanks to a passionate dog trainer and her animals. Farmers typically are limited to visual detection of common potato diseases – such as potato virus Y and bacterial ring rot – which is not visible until after potatoes have a serious infection.
While potato virus Y is not dangerous for human consumption, it is a virus that farmers seek to detect as early as possible to avoid long-term crop damage and loss.
When Andrea Parish realised that no one had ever tried to teach dogs to detect potato diseases, she decided to become the first to do it: “I knew that if dogs could detect bombs, drugs, cancer or COVID, they could detect anything.”
Parish has traveled to at least a few dozen farms from Oregon to Maine to demonstrate how dogs can stiff and detect all three strains of potato virus Y as well as bacterial ring rot. Through her connections with agricultural researchers and growers, she has also allowed farmers to send potato samples to her for her dogs to test.
A video from Bangord Daily News shows how, in a matter of minutes, the dogs can sniff the samples and indicate which test tube contains the potato disease. They can also detect the diseases in crop and equipment storage units and in fields.
Interestingly, CMI Orchards will be showcasing its large organic apple product lines as well as new innovations at the upcoming Organic Produce Summit in Monterey, CA on September 15-16, 2021.
Vice-President of marketing at CMI Orchards, George Harter, says “CMI loves to participate in this show with its specific focus on organics. This show is typically very well attended and we have great interactions with retailers looking to grow their organic business and see what’s new out there.”
Harter described how CMI has grown over the past several years with the addition of several new packing facilities that have partnered with CMI to increase capacity and ability to offer year-round organics. “CMI is now able to deliver year-round core organic apples and pears for many varieties including specialty branded organics such as KIKU®, Kanzi®, Ambrosia, Jazz™, Envy™, Smitten®, EverCrisp® and Cosmic Crisp®,” said Harter. “We call these items the “fourth tier” of selling, giving retailers the opportunity to capture incremental sales attributed to the higher rings that branded organic apples deliver.”
“This is a category sector that has tremendous growth opportunity as more consumers elect to lead organic lifestyles and/or are more tuned in to their health and well being”, Harter said. “We’re constantly running the numbers, looking at nationwide and regional scan data to review category trends.
‘’There’s more room to grow with organics for most retailers. OPS is a great place to see what is trending in the industry, and the approaches that CMI and other companies are taking to bring fresh products and ideas to market.”
CMI anticipates an exciting show with lots of new and interesting things to see. “We hope to see many retail friends after a period of reduced travel and the migration of trade shows online”, said Harter. “We’re excited to get back to face-to-face meetings with our customers, and to share with them the new and exciting things percolating at CMI over the past 12 months or so.”
In addition to face time with many customers CMI hasn’t seen in a while, the company looks forward to seeing what other exciting things are happening with other produce commodities, particularly in relation to new items and sustainable packaging.
The company also has new things it is excited to present during the show. “We don’t want to give anything away ahead of time, as many of the things we’re sharing have been ‘behind the curtain’”, he said.
“You’ll have to visit our booth to see. We look forward to showing our customers the breadth of our offerings and to talk to people about ideas and strategies for using organics as a key tool for growing sales.”