Cooperative
Extension
Service


University of Illinois
at
Urbana-Champaign


No. 8/May 15, 1998

Professional Crop Consultants

In 1993, the Clinton Administration issued a challenge to American agriculture that called for the implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) on 75 percent of the nation's managed acres by the year 2000.

How far along an IPM continuum are producers of corn and soybeans in Illinois? According to the National Academy of Sciences, Board on Agriculture, (1989) publication entitled Alternative Agriculture, the percentages of corn and soybean acres under IPM in 1986 were 19.5 and 14.4 percent, respectively. Integrated pest management was defined broadly to include all acres where basic scouting and economic thresholds were reportedly used. The USDA, in a 1994 publication entitled Adoption of Integrated Pest Management in U.S. Agriculture, suggested that as of 1993, about 52 percent of U.S. corn acres were under low IPM insect management practices. Low-level IPM practices were defined as either the use of scouting and economic thresholds or the reliance on crop rotation without the use of an insecticide.

A 1994 survey of producers in eight central Illinois counties conducted by George Czapar, IPM educator, Springfield Extension Center, revealed that 65 percent of the farmers relied upon custom herbicide applications, but only 7 percent hired a professional crop consultant. Although we've made progress toward the goal of 75 percent IPM implementation on corn andsoybean acres, the fact that so few producers hire professional consultants is somewhat surprising. This finding becomes more confusing when considering the fact that farms continue to increase in size and management complexity and are increasingly reliant upon cutting-edge information.

Are producers doing most of their own scouting? The results of George Czapar's survey indicated that most producers are still not adequately monitoring their fields. Forty-one percent of the farmers monitored their fields once per week; 35 percent reported they scouted their fields only two to three times per growing season. Three percent of the producers who responded indicated they seldom or never scout their fields. With all the interest and hysteria over precision farming and GPS, many growers apparently don't have the most rudimentary facts about potentially emerging pest problems in their fields.

Table 1 provides some information about consultants who belong to the Professional Crop Consultants of Illinois Organization (PCCI). The address for the PCCI Contact office is 2019 S. Main St., Suite 4, Bloomington, IL 61704-7303; telephone, (309)828-2767.

Table 1. Name, location, and telephone numbers of Professional Crop Consultants of Illinois

NameLocationFirmTelephone number
Tom AndersonToulonMowers Soil Testing Plus(309) 286-2761
Spencer BerryBurnsideAgwatch(217) 746-2134
Bob BoehleBloomingtonBoehle Consulting(309) 663-5076
Robert BrownMundeleinPro-Crop, Inc.(847) 566-0260
Don BruckerBloomingtonBoehle Consulting(309) 663-5076
Phillip CochranParisCochran Agronomics(217) 465-5282
Gene CraigDanvilleCraig Ag. Sales & Cons.(217) 759-7923
William CraigCarlinvilleMaxi-Yield Cons. Serv.(217) 854-2433
Randy DarrShipmanSoil-Right Cons. Serv.(618) 836-5503
Gary ElliottCropseyA & L Great Lakes Lab(309) 377-3081
Ric FritzToulonMowers Soil Testing Plus(309) 286-2761
Bert HagerbaumerRochelleCrop Pro Tech, Inc.(815) 562-5138
Timothy HankeCarlyleAlvey Laboratory, Inc.(618) 594-7645
David HarmsBloomingtonCrop Pro Tech, Inc.(309) 828-2767
Dennis HornerHartsburgCrop Pro Tech, Inc.(217) 642-5430
Ted HuberWindsorPro Ag Consulting(217) 459-2029
Rodney MagerkurthGeneseoMagerkurth Soil Service(309) 949-2545
Jeff MarquisBloomingtonCrop Pro Tech, Inc.(309) 828-2767
David MowersToulonMowers Soil Testing Plus(309) 286-2761
John McNeilMount VernonMcNeil Consulting(618)755-4412
Garret RoberstonBentonMcNeil Consulting(618) 755-4412
John SchweigertPrincevilleCrop Pro Tech, Inc.(309) 385-4654
Scott SteinCarlyleAlvey Laboratory, Inc.(618) 594-7645
Bill Tarter, Jr.CarlyleAlvey Laboratory, Inc.(618) 594-7645
Dean WesleyMacombKey Agricul. Serv., Inc.(309) 833-1313
Kirk WesleyMacombKey Agricul. Serv., Inc.(309) 833-1313
Steve WiedmanMortonMowers Soil Testing Plus(309) 286-2761

I encourage you to visit with a professional consultant in your area and discuss the range of services offered. Increasing IPM adoption is the responsibility of all us involved in American agriculture.

Mike Gray (m-gray4@uiuc.edu), Extension Entomology, (217)333-6652