A dog trainer from Bangor in Maine, USA, has trained dogs to detect a number of diseases present in potato tubers before symptoms become visible.
Andrea Parish said, “I knew that if dogs could detect bombs, drugs, cancer or COVID, they could detect anything.” Having learnt that nobody had taught dogs to detect potato diseases, she started working on common potato diseases such as potato virus Y and bacterial ring rot.
According to the Bangor Daily News, she has travelled 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. She has also visited the Aroostook Research Farm in Presque Isle to demonstrate the skills of her three-year-old black Labrador Zora.
“I think it could be interesting to see how well this could work [at Aroostook farms],” Greg Porter, professor of crop ecology and management at the University of Maine, said. “I’m impressed by how quickly we can determine the level of infections.”
Photo Caption: Dogs in the US have been trained to detect diseased potato tubers.