AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY REGULATION
Agricultural Products Inspection
The department examines feed, seed and fertilizer products for quality and inspects ammonia applicators to ensure safety. Staff test seed for purity, noxious weed content and germination. They also test seed conditions for shipping purposes, check seed bag labels for accuracy and analyze seed quality for individual producers on a fee-for-service basis. The department evaluates feed content and fertilizer quality. It issues certificates of free sale which verify exports meet state and federal quality standards. The department also publishes a directory of limestone sales outlets and product quality.
Department inspectors ensure consumers receive wholesome, properly identified meat and poultry products by inspecting slaughter and processing facilities. Licensing of cold warehouses and meat brokers as well as inspection of facilities that sell, serve or process eggs are conducted for proper handling, storage, accuracy in grading and labeling is also handled by this division.
Nursery, Nursery Stock Dealer, Greenhouse Inspection & Certification
The Department's Bureau of Environmental Programs staff of nursery Inspectors certifies and inspects nearly 1,200 nurseries in Illinois each year. These nurseries comprise of nearly 30,000 acres of nursery stock, 5,500 acres of Christmas trees, and 17,000 acres of sod. Inspectors also inspect and certify on average 40 shipping greenhouses twice per year. At present nearly 3,300 nursery stock dealers are registered by the Bureau of Environmental Programs. Inspections of these plant and plant products benefit both consumers and growers by ensuring pest free plant stock.
Phytosanitary Certification for Export
The Department's Bureau of Environmental Programs is responsible for inspection and certification of plants and plant products for export through the USDA Phytosanitary Certification program. All Bureau of Environmental Programs nursery inspectors are certified by the USDA as Accredited Certifying Officials. This designation allows each inspector to perform inspections and issue Federal Phytosanitary Certificates. Bureau staff assists exporters in complying with the regulations of each foreign country that the grower or company is exporting to. Each inspector also performs inspections and issues State Phytosanitary Certificates. On average, the Bureau of Environmental Programs issues 6,100 Phytosanitary Certificates for exports valued at nearly 4 billion dollars from the State of Illinois each year. Examples of plant and plant products exported are corn seed, corn meal, corn grits, popcorn, soybeans, sunflower seed, flower and vegetable seed, onion sets, orchids, ornamental nursery stock, and greenhouse plants, just to name a few.
Meat and Poultry Inspection
The Bureau of Meat and Poultry Inspection is responsible for administration of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Act which protects the consumer in relation to wholesomeness, deceptive advertising and proper labeling of meat and poultry products. Inspection coverage includes all aspects of intrastate slaughter and processing from ante mortem (before death) inspection through slaughter and processing and to the retail level.
Animal Health Regulation
Bureau of Animal Health is responsible for detection and eradication of various animal diseases. The Agriculture Department licenses individuals and businesses, such as auction markets, livestock dealers, feeder swine dealers and slaughter buyers, who purchase and sell livestock for a fee or assume ownership of livestock to resell at a profit.
Pesticides are an important management tool in agricultural production. They increase yields and reduce the presence of foreign materials in some commodities. This brochure is designed to explain what action the Illinois Department of Agriculture takes when misuse occurs and to help producers use pesticides responsibly.
Aerial Pesticide Application
Aerial application is often the most efficient and most economical way to apply crop protection products, fertilizer and even seed to grow and protect crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat. Aircraft can treat fields when the soil moisture is too great for the operation of ground application equipment and can also apply necessary crop protection products when the crop canopies become too tall or are too thick for ground application equipment.
Weights and Measurements Certification
The agency annually tests more than 91,000 commercial weighing and measuring devices such as gasoline pumps; scales for groceries, freight, coal and trucks; and grain moisture meters. Inspections benefit both buyers and sellers of goods by ensuring the devices' accuracy.
Grain Dealer and Warehouse Inspection and Licensure
In addition to inspecting and licensing grain dealer and warehouse operations, the department administers one of the strongest grain insurance programs in the nation. The Illinois Grain Insurance Fund protects producers against certain losses associated with failed grain facilities and enhances the stability of the grain industry. Department staff also register grain cooperatives and specialty farm product buyers and regulate personal property, commercial distribution and refrigerated warehouses.
Many of the entities who are licensed through the Department of Agriculture are listed in this area.
Soybean Rust Program
The purpose of the program is to detect and eradicate soybean rust if and when it appears in Illinois. If soybean rust goes undetected and untreated, it can cause up to an 80% reduction in soybean yields.
For more information, contact:
Illinois Department of Agriculture
P.O Box 19281
Springfield, IL 62794-9281
Ag News, Education and Services Toll-Free Hot Line:
provides information about the department's programs and services
217.782.2172, TDD 217.524.6858
Automated Market Information Service:
provides up-to-date market information
217.782.2055, TDD 217.524.6858
Market News Toll-Free Hot Line:
provides access to the latest grain and livestock market news
Motor Fuel Quality Toll-Free Hot Line:
provides a way to file confidential complaints concerning motor fuel quality and the accuracy of weighing and measuring devices
Pesticide Misuse Hot Line:
provides a means to report potential pesticide misuse
1.800.641.3934 (voice and TDD)
Grain Toll-Free Hot Line:
provides information about grain programs and issues
Copyright © 2001
State of Illinois Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 19281, State Fairgrounds
Springfield, IL 62794-9281
(217) 524-6858 TTY