The next time you bite into a peach send up a thank you to Agdia, a local company that specializes in agricultural diagnostics.
A decade ago, the Plum Pox Disease was ravishing stone fruit trees (peach, nectarine, apricots and plums) in the states of New York and Pennsylvania with an estimated economic impact of $600 million per year and over 700 acres of stone fruit trees diseased in one year. For Plum Pox, early detection of the virus is essential because there is no cure once it gets established in an orchard.
Fortunately, Agdia specializes in early detection by manufacturing ImmunoStrips® that can be used by both seed companies and farmers on the ground.
“The work we do is important to our clients, to some of them it’s their bottom line—it’s how they put food on their table and it’s how they put food on (our) table,” said Robert Emmitt, Domestic Account Manager of Plant Pathogen Diagnostics. “Plants make up 80 percent or more of what we eat, so food security, economics, regional stability is all impacted. Being able to detect and identify the agents of disease is probably one of the most important steps in managing plant disease from a global standpoint.”
Agdia was started in 1981 by Chet and Jane Sutula in their basement in Granger. The company moved to Elkhart in 1989 and has continued to flourish.
In just 30 minutes, Agdia’s ImmunoStrips can detect over 30 common pathogens and pathogen combinations that could wreak havoc on various crops. The strips are used in more than 150 countries, from Canada to West Africa, as well as governmental regularity agencies.
Scientists at Agdia are constantly working on finding ways to detect the newest viruses that are ravaging food supplies across the world.
“The ImmunoStrip is the coolest thing made in Elkhart County because it takes complicated science and puts it in a format that anyone can run and keeps food on the table and food prices down,” said Colin Walsh, Technical Support and Quality Manager.
Some countries don’t have the infrastructure or resources to run molecular assays like the ones completed at Agdia — but the people in those countries still need healthy plants.
“We can ship these anywhere in the world and be on the ground and running in a couple of days or less,” said Sales Manager Dave Rambow. “You can take these to India or Africa and have results in 30 minutes.”
The results don’t take much longer than a home pregnancy test, and it’s just as easy to use.
“Agdia takes a complicated biochemical process and turns it into a product your grandmother can use,” Emmitt said.
Agdia has been a leading provider of plant pathogen diagnostics since 1981. Today we offer the most comprehensive and trusted portfolio of plant pathogen and GMO testing solutions around the world.
52642 County Road 1
Elkhart, IN 46514
“The work we do is important to our clients, to some of them it’s their bottom line—it’s how they put food on their table and it’s how they put food on (our) table. Plants make up 80 percent or more of what we eat, so food security, economics, regional stability is all impacted. Being able to detect and identify the agents of disease is probably one of the most important steps in managing plant disease from a global standpoint.”