Date of this Version
Wright, R. J., T. A. DeVries and S. T. Kamble. 1997. Pest Management Practices of Crop Consultants in the Midwestern USA. Journal of Production Agriculture Vo. 10, No. 4, pp 624-628.
A mail survey was conducted of independent crop consultants in 12 midwestern U.S. states working in corn (Zea mays L.), soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merrill], wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench.) during 1993. The survey was conducted to document the acreage of crops monitored by crop consultants, and some of their operational characteristics. Kansas and Nebraska had the greatest reported acreage of crops scouted, over 3 million and 1 million acres, respectively. Total acres scouted were highest for corn, followed by soybeans, wheat, alfalfa (Medlcago sativa L.), and sorghum. Acres contracted with crop consultants varied from 0.4 to 40.0% of the total 1993 harvested acres, depending on state and crop. The most common interval reported between field visits was once a week. Averaged over all states, the highest consulting fees were charged for alfalfa ($4.80), with less charged for corn ($4.31), sorghum ($4.26), soybeans ($4.07), and wheat ($3.74). There was a great range in fees within crops across the region (e.g., corn fees varied from S3.21-6.13/acre). Planting time application of insecticides was the most commonly used corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte and D. barberi Smith & Lawrence) control. Postemergence applications of insecticides for larval rootworms (cultivation time applications and chemigation) were used primarily in Kansas and Nebraska. Foliar sprays for adult corn rootworm control were also most common in these states. Use of crop rotation varied greatly across the region (23.8-83.7% of acres were corn after another crop). Additionally, across all states except Missouri, there was a significant correlation between frequency of rotation in corn and insecticide use against corn rootworms; Le., states with higher frequencies of rotated corn treated a lower percentage of corn acreage for corn rootworm control. The diversity of crop consultant activity across the region has implications for future adoption of IPM practices on midwestern field crops.