Expanded Integrated Pest Management Scout School Includes Hands-on Field Session

Joyce S. Hornstein, M.S., Extension Program Specialist III, Pest Management and the Environment Program, Entomology


Each year approximately 100 individuals participate in a beginning field crop scout school held in March on the Iowa State University campus. 


The scout school provides participants with an overview of basic diagnostic skills required for recognizing and documenting field crop problems. 


This year, along with indoor sessions, we added an early June half-day outdoor session at the Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL) west of campus.  The March sessions include normal growth and development of corn, soybean and alfalfa; identification of common weeds, insects and diseases; and general scouting principles.  To increase training of field scouts the June follow-up session included more hands-on training with soils, crop diseases (including soybean rust); alfalfa, corn, and soybean development; and also insect and weed identification.


Twenty-two of the 100 scouts and managers attending the March scout school attended the early June field session.  Some participants that returned were from surrounding states.  From evaluations of the March school, 96% of the participants rated the overall program as “good” to “excellent.”  Many positive comments were received about the June program as the attendees appreciated being able to ask additional questions in the field and in small group settings.



Page last updated: July 9, 2006
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