Iowa State University Extension is offering a virtual Field Scouting Basics Workshop on May 14. Due to restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s workshop will be offered as a free webinar.
Designed for beginner-level crop scouts, as well as those looking to receive a refresher course on crop scouting skills and knowledge, this workshop will illustrate the importance of scouting, pest management and methods for making successful decisions and evaluations in the field. The webinar will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will be divided into two sessions: 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.
“While COVID-19 has shut down many facets of our daily lives and routines, farming in Iowa and the north-central region of the Midwest is a critical component to not only the state’s economy, but the global food supply,” says Warren Pierson, program specialist with ISU Extension. “Though we here at FEEL would prefer to continue offering a unique, hands-on learning environment, we know that farmers, certified crop advisers, crop scouts and other ag professionals need to have the proper training in order to complete their jobs and tasks. Crop scouts are often the first to find issues in fields, and their reports help drive important pest management decisions.”
Sharpen scouting skills
FEEL is the Field Extension Education Laboratory, an interactive agricultural demonstration lab. ISU Extension specialists and field agronomists will provide instruction on crop staging and development, and weed, insect and crop disease identification in Iowa corn and soybean production.
Participants will also learn principles of integrated pest management and an overview of basic field scouting skills including sample collection, observation and documentation. During the webinar, participants may submit questions online, which will be answered by the team of specialists as time allows.
The Field Scouting Basics Workshop presentation topics and instructors include:
- Crop scouting tips and tricks by Angie Rieck-Hinz, ISU Extension field agronomist
- Corn and soybean growth and development by Mark Licht, ISU Extension cropping systems specialist
- Weed identification by Bob Hartzler, ISU Extension weed specialist
- Crop plant disease identification by Ed Zaworski, diagnostician at ISU’s Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic
- Insect pest identification by Erin Hodgson, ISU Extension entomologist
This free webinar will be offered through Webex. After registering for the workshop, participants will receive an email with instructions and a link for joining the meeting. Participants may join through their web browser, a free downloadable app or via an app available for their mobile device. Additional instructions and registration are available at ISU Extension.
Preregistration is required and will be available until the webinar begins. Participants should join the webinar at least 15 minutes in advance to ensure connections and software are working correctly.
“Our Field Scouting Basics Workshop gives beginning crop scouts a hands-on learning experience in diagnosing early-season pest problems and management strategies,” Pierson says. “Advanced scouts are also encouraged to participate in the webinar and hear from ISU Extension specialists who will discuss issues that may arise this growing season.”