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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 90 No. 6, p. 819-825
    Received: July 15, 1997

    * Corresponding author(s): s-aref@uiuc.edu
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Midwest Farmers' Perceptions of Crop Pest Infestation

  1. Susanne Aref  and
  2. David R. Pike
  1. Dep. of Crop Sciences, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801



Region, soil type, and tillage are important factors in severity of crop pest infestation. This study was conducted to determine the relative importance of these factors on severity of crop pest infestation as perceived by farmers. Correlations between pests were also studied. In a 1992 survey, farmers in 12 U.S. Corn Belt states were asked to rate the severity of crop pest infestation in their fields. The categories of pests included perennial and annual weeds in row crops, insects and diseases of corn (Zea mays L.) and sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], and insects and diseases of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Means ranked from highest to lowest in the following order: annual weeds, perennial weeds, corn and sorghum insects, corn and sorghum diseases, soybean diseases, and soybean insects. Correlation coefficients ranged between 0.47 to 0.69 among corn and sorghum diseases, among soybean insects, and among soybean diseases, and between 0.04 and 0.41 among perennial weeds. Correlation coefficients among annual weeds and among corn and/or sorghum insects spanned both of these ranges. Effects of either region and/or tillage were very highly significant (0.001), while soil type was not as significant an effect. In farmers' perceptions, weeds were the most serious pests and soybean pests the least serious pests; there was less relationship among perennial weeds than among pests in any other category; the drier western region was generally less severely infested; higher amount of conventional tillage practices produced less infestation; and differences in soil type were due to more severe infestation in loams, followed by infestation in clays, and then infestation in sands.

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