MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) — Whether they know it or not, many central Illinois farm operators are using technology spurred by the genius of Dr. Harold Reetz, who passed away at his Monticello home on Monday.

Tim Smith of CropSmith at Farmer City was a close friend.

“Harold was a brilliant agricultural scientist and pioneer in a lot of areas. He was instrumental in the early development of a lot of things in precision ag,” Smith said. “And he was really good about putting people together to come up with new ideas and things. He would say you have to meet so and so, and he’d get them together.”

Reetz developed the Info-Ag conferences with his partner Quentin Rund, who passed away in early February.

Harold was one of the ones that helped get those conferences started,” Smith said. “And Quentin was able to really organize them and move those forward and always get excellent people to come and speak and put a lot of good people together at those conferences to help us with some of the precision ag things we do today.”

Smith said Reetz was one to say that nothing was ever set in stone

“There wasn’t anything that was sacred in soil fertility to him,” Smith said. “It was ‘Hey, these things are evolving and changing with learning and as the technology changes and develops, we need to move along with it. That’s how progress is going to be made.'”

Dr. Harold Reetz was 74. Services will be held at a later date in Monticello.