As the snow melts and planters are made ready for spring, it is also time to think about crop scouting. The Crop Protection Network has many resources for new crop scouts or summer interns. These resources can also provide a refresher to help seasoned scouts before they walk back into a field. Check out the following videos and web tools to get started:
- Virtual Crop Scout School: The scout school consists of 22 webinars from crop protection specialists at eleven Midwest Universities. Crop scouts, farmers, and other users can pick and choose from a variety of diverse subjects to help them become more knowledgeable on crop scouting. Topics are split into digestible bits so crop scouts can interact with subject matter in a way that best suits their time and interest.
- Crop Scouting Basics for Corn and Soybean: Crop Scouting Basics for Corn and Soybean web book helps a field scout to understand what is occurring in a corn or soybean field. Knowing what a healthy crop looks like and how to assess it, knowing what insects, diseases, or weeds are present, and knowing the risk associated with these issues are integral parts of crop production.
- Disease Severity and Insect Defoliation Scouting Tool: Use this web tool to help train for more accurate disease and defoliation ratings on field crops. It’s easy to overestimate the amount of disease severity or defoliation on leaves, and the activities here will help hone assessment skills for common crop diseases and insect pests.
- Pest Encyclopedia: The pest encyclopedia contains corn, soybean, alfalfa, and wheat pest articles with multiple images and basic identification information, including general management recommendations and life cycle illustrations. This resource helps crop scouts sort potential pests by crop, time of year the pest impacts the crop, and plant part impacted.
Don't forget to check with your local land grant Extension specialists for additional information.
The Crop Protection Network is a multi-state and international partnership of university and provincial Extension specialists, and public and private professionals that provides unbiased, research-based information. Our goal is to communicate relevant information to farmers and agricultural personnel to help with decisions related to protecting alfalfa, corn, small grains, and soybean.
Through multi-state and international efforts, the CPN enhances the visibility and success of agricultural extension while providing important crop protection information to farmers, agribusiness, and educators.