photo by rob way
Richard Wildman, president of Agricultural Consulting Services, Inc., might be considered a modern pioneer in the field of IPM. His business, begun in 1983, was one of the earliest private crop-consulting firms in the state. Today, Wildman's full-time staff of ten swells during the growing season, when they offer production advice on some 70,000 acres of vegetables and field crops.
Agricultural Consulting Services, Inc. serves growers in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. According to Curt Petzoldt, assistant director of the NYS IPM Program, Wildman's firm has helped growers of processing sweet-corn reduce numbers of pesticide applications by up to 50 percent in New York. Wildman's work with tomato processors has also resulted in substantial savings in pesticide use, both economically and environmentally.
Wildman originated the concept of fully integrated crop production, which embraces nutrient management planning and soil resources in a "whole farm" approach. He has also developed on-farm crop management software that helps growers with record keeping and other tasks. Wildman says one of his greatest contributions has been "bringing IPM into a format that's readily and intensively adopted by growers."
To improve scouting techniques on snap beans, cabbage, and other vegetables, Wildman shares his knowledge with Extension faculty and staff at Cornell University. He also serves on the IPM Commodity Working Group for Vegetables, where he evaluates IPM research and implementation proposals.
Wildman studied horticultural science at Colorado State University, graduating with a B.S. in 1979. He is on the executive boards of the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants and the Professional Agricultural Consultants of New York State.