Field Crop Scout School Being Offered on May 16, 2024

April 16, 2024 3:55 PM
Blog Post

On May 16th, we will be hosting a Field Crop Scout School at the Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm (3115 Louisa-Washington Rd., Crawfordsville, IA). Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m., with the program running from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Particpants from the 2023 Crop Scout School practicing taking stand counts in corn. 

The Field Crop Scout School is intended to be a foundational course, providing essential information for effective and efficient crop scouting. The program features sessions such as corn and soybean growth and development, pest identification and scouting methods for crop scouts.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Crop scouting tips and tricks – Virgil Schmitt, extension field agronomist
  • Corn and soybean growth and development and staging – Mark Licht, assistant professor agronomy and extension specialist, ISU  
  • Crops disease identification – Alison Robertson, extension plant pathologist, ISU
  • Weed identification – Terry Basol, extension field agronomist  
  • Insect pest identification – Ashley Dean, extension specialist, entomology, ISU
  • Other crop issues and challenges (nutrient deficiencies, herbicide injury, etc.) – Clarabell Probasco and Rebecca Vittetoe, extension field agronomists
  • Hands-on practice out in the field –Clarabell Probasco, Virgil Schmitt, and Rebecca Vittetoe, extension field agronomists

The following publications and resources are included with registration to the Field Crop Scout School:  

  • Soybean Diseases and Corn Diseases booklets: a combined 88-page compendium of soybean and corn diseases in Iowa and the greater north central region, in full color. Each guide is complete with disease life cycles and diagrams, as well as foliar disease estimation charts.
  • Field Crop Insects: contains descriptions and color images of more than 55 pest and beneficial insects, as well as information on insect life cycle, damage, scouting and management options. There is also information on basic entomology and integrated pest management tactics.
  • Corn and Soybean Field Guide: includes updated text and images, illustrations, diagrams and tables to assist with identifying corn and soybean diseases, insects and disorders found throughout the Midwest. This 236-page guide focuses on development stages, pesticide decisions and production-related topics to help you when scouting fields this summer.
  • A digital Weed Identification Field Guide 2nd Edition: contains 35 illustrations and more than 250 high-quality photographs of weeds found in Iowa. Palmer amaranth information was added to this 108-page field guide, and information on herbicide resistance and management was updated from the first edition.

Advance registration is required. The cost of $150 includes above printed and digital publications, lunch, and refreshments. Registration for the course closes May 10, and the course is limited to 60 students.

For more information and to register, visit

Participants practicing their weed ID skills at the 2023 Crop Scout School. 


Rebecca Vittetoe Field Agronomist in EC Iowa

Rebecca Vittetoe is an extension field agronomist in east central Iowa. Educational programs are available for farmers, agribusiness, pesticide applicators, and certified crop advisors.

Areas of expertise include agronomy, field crop production and management of corn, soybeans, and...

Virgil Schmitt Field Agronomist in SE Iowa

Virgil Schmitt has been in his current position since 1992, although counties he's covered have changed over time.

He's worked as an extension 4-H and youth leader in Butler and Grundy Counties and as an extension agriculturist in Linn County, Iowa. He taught high school agricultural ed...

Terry Basol Field Agronomist in NC Iowa

Terry Basol is an agronomist in north central Iowa and field specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.