Field Scouting Basics Workshop Provides Hands-on Training for Crop Scouts

April 18, 2017 12:09 PM
Blog Post

Measuring corn plant population.Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering a Field Scouting Basics Workshop on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at the Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL) near Boone, Iowa. Designed for beginning-level crop scouts, the course provides hands-on, in-field experience to crop scouts for the 2017 growing season.

“The goal of the workshop is to provide a hands-on learning opportunity out at the field lab, and help participants feel confident when they’re scouting fields in 2017,” said Warren Pierson, program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Scouts are the "eyes and ears" in the field and their reports help drive pest management decisions. Crop scouts often discover other problems in the field, such as nutrient deficiencies, implement malfunctions, and other issues, that might not otherwise be noticed during the growing season.”

ISU Extension and Outreach specialists and field agronomists provide instruction on the principles of integrated pest management with emphasis on weed, insect and crop disease identification in Iowa corn and soybean production. An overview of basic field scouting skills including sample collection, observation and documentation is also offered.

New this year is the addition of an optional session for Handler Pesticide Safety. Recent updates to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) require crop scouts entering fields where pesticides have been applied receive training before they begin work and every 12 months.

The Field Scouting Basics Workshop presentation topics and instructors include:

  • Crop scouting tips and tools – Angie Rieck-Hinz, extension field agronomist
  • Corn and soybean growth and development – Mark Licht, extension cropping systems agronomist
  • Weed identification – Bob Hartzler, extension weed specialist
  • Disease identification – Alison Robertson, extension plant pathologist
  • Insect identification – Erin Hodgson, extension entomologist
  • WPS Handler Pesticide Safety Training – Betsy Buffington, extension program specialist

Registration check-in opens at 8:30 a.m. The program starts at 9:00 a.m. and adjourns at 2:00 p.m. Optional Worker Protection Safety Training follows from 2:10 p.m. to 3:10 p.m. Pre-registration is required and must be completed before midnight, May 10. Registration is $65.

For assistance with registration, receipts, cancelation or questions on the status of your registration contact ANR Program Services at 515-294-6429 or