Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer a Field Crop Scout School on Saturday, Mar. 25, at the Scheman Building in Ames. Designed for beginning crop scouts, the day-long course features sessions on crop growth and development, weed, disease and insect identification, along with scouting methods and techniques.
“The school provides a basic understanding of crop pests, how to identify them and field guides to help with identification,” said Warren Pierson, program specialist for the Field Extension Education Laboratory at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “It’s very important to be able to identify insects, weeds and diseases to carry out a successful integrated pest management plan. Especially right now, when margins are tight, you want to make management decisions including applications that are timely and cost effective.”
Kollin DeBerg, a senior in ag studies at Iowa State University, attended the Field Crop Scout School in 2015 as an incoming intern for Innovative Ag Services. He believes the educational materials helped better prepare him for his internship. Registration includes copies of the Corn and Soybean Field Guide, Weed Identification Field Guide, and Field Crops Insects publication.
“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. 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,” said DeBerg.
New this year is an optional session providing agricultural worker pesticide safety training, as outlined by Worker Protection Standard. Certifications of completion for the training will be provided.
Check- in will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Mar. 25, with sessions beginning at 9 a.m. and adjourning at 3 p.m. The optional agricultural worker pesticide safety training session will then continue until 4:10 p.m. Pre-registration is required and must be completed before midnight, Mar. 17. The registration fee of $100 includes field guides, course handouts, lunch and breaks.