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Learn crop scouting basics at ISU's 2016 Crop Scout SchoolLearn crop scouting basics at ISU's 2016 Crop Scout School

Sessions at Feb. 27 training will focus on crop growth and development, weed, disease and insect identification.

February 4, 2016

2 Min Read

Iowa State University Extension will offer a Field Crop Scout School on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames. Designed for beginning crop scouts, the day-long course features sessions on crop growth and development, weed, disease and insect identification, and scouting methods and techniques.


“The school provides a basic understanding of crop pests and how to identify them,” says Warren Pierson, program specialist for the Field Extension Education Laboratory at Iowa State University. “It’s very important to be able to identify insects, weeds and diseases to carry out a successful integrated pest management plan. Especially now, when margins are tight, you want to make pesticide applications that are timely and cost effective.”

Attendees have opportunity to learn practical scouting skills
The school is a blend of lecture and hands-on small group sessions. Attendees have the opportunity to practice identifying weeds, insects and diseases, and staging corn and soybean during the hands-on portion. Extension specialists and agronomists will be available to review samples and answer questions.

Kollin DeBerg, a senior in ag studies at ISU, attended the Field Crop Scout School in 2015 as an incoming intern for Innovative Ag Services. He believes the hands-on activities and educational materials helped better prepare him for his internship.

“The hands-on sessions were my favorite because we were able to try our hand at identifying weeds, insects and diseases from the samples they provided,” says DeBerg. “I also really liked the discussion on weed identification and learning more about the growth stages of crops. The scout school gives you a good base of scouting knowledge to know what to look for when you are out in the field.”

Lectures, hands-on sessions, field guides and class materials
In addition to lectures and hands-on sessions, field guides and class materials are provided to attendees. This year, participants will receive the following field guides: “Corn Field Guide, 2nd Edition”; “Soybean Field Guide, 2nd Edition”; and the “Weed Identification Field Guide, 2nd Edition”.

“I would recommend attending the scout school because it teaches you something new and provides you with useful materials that you can use in the field,” says DeBerg.

Check in will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 27, with sessions beginning at 9 a.m. and adjourning at 4 p.m. Space is limited, so preregistration is required and must be completed before midnight, Feb. 19. The registration fee of $100 includes field guides, course handouts, lunch and breaks. Additional information and online registration is available at aep.iastate.edu/scout.

Related links: Field Crop Scout School; Integrated Crop Management

Related publications: Weed Identification Field Guide, 2nd Edition

Corn Field Guide, 2nd Edition

Soybean Field Guide, 2nd Edition

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