My wife Marianne and I enjoy working our farm. It is a modest and seasonal effort that we are able to perform, supplement our own food supply and provide a little extra that we can bring to market and create a positive cash flow (for more on our farm, please see this earlier version of our site).

But things weren’t always so good for us on our farm as they are now! Before we met Rick Applegate at Precision Farming Solutions LLC ( we were plagued with crop issues that seemed impossible to overcome. We had thought we were doing everything right but Precision Farming Solutions used highly advanced methods to look at our farm and discovered that there were insufficiencies in our soil, our irrigation and our defense against pests.

After we employed the suggestions from Precision Farming Solutions, our farm began to thrive and we’ve never looked back. Precision Farming Solutions will always be our partners as long as we perform farming. So recently, when an unusual pest issue came up, we turned again to Rick Applegate to save the day!


The Martin State forest is very close to our property and the first sign of trouble was when I saw the limb of what I thought was a healthy tree break off for no obvious reason.

I then noticed that there was a lot of woodpecker activity on these trees. The woodpeckers were after something! Whatever might be attacking the trees might be after my crops next and I didn’t want to mess around. I took the chainsaw over to the recently broken limb and opened it up. Sure enough, there were some bugs inside! I bottled some up in a Mason jar and headed over to Precision Farming Solutions LLC to get the 411.


When I got to Precision Farming Solutions and showed them my jar, they (much to my astonishment) immediately knew what the issue was.

“See that one there? It’s the Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis!” then . . . “But wait! There’s an Asian Long horned Beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis!”

This turned out to be a big, really big deal! These beetles are foreign invaders from the Far East and don’t belong here! They have been wreaking havoc all across the U.S. and killing trees. While their presence did not represent an immediate threat to our farm, it would be necessary to bring in some experts to look at the infestation.

These invasive species are largely spread from place to place by transporting contaminated firewood. In areas that have lost control of where the bugs are, whole forest areas have needed to be quarantined. Whenever a single tree is found to have these invaders, a certified tree service needs to be brought in to fall the tree and gather up the contaminated wood to suppress further spread of the horrible little beasts.


This could have been a disaster right in my back yard if it were not identified and put to a quick halt by my friends, the experts in modern agriculture, Precision Farming Solutions. My yard is now free of invasive beetles but other areas in Indiana have not been so lucky. If you see evidence of these beetles, you need to report them to the USDA and the faster, the better!