Evaluation of the 2006 IPM Field Crop Scout School

Joyce Hornstein, P&S, Entomology


During spring and summer, crop consultants, field scouts and farmers are diligently working to economically produce the best crop. Skills such as identification of insect, disease and weed pests are important for knowing when and if a pesticide application is needed or how to best manage crop problems. Each year a beginning field crop scout school is held in March on the ISU campus with a follow-up field session at the beginning of June.


The scout school provides participants with an overview of basic diagnostic skills required for recognizing and documenting field crop problems so that any corrective action may be taken in a timely manner. Up-to-date course materials and sources of additional information are provided in a notebook that provides an invaluable tool when working on field crop problem solving.


One-hundred twenty participants attended the March school this year, including some out-of-state participants. This is an increase of 20 over the previous year. We changed locations to accommodate additional participants. The sessions included topics such as normal growth and development of corn, soybean and alfalfa; identification of common weeds, insects and diseases; general field scouting principles. In addition, the March participants could return for a half-day hands-on field session during early June. The June session included a session on soils, crop diseases (including soybean rust), corn and soybean development; also insect and weed identification.


Participants of the school included 36% crop consultants, 35% college students, 24% producers, 4% high school students and 1% County Extension personnel. Of these individuals, 62% reported that they were new scouts, 19% were 2nd year scouts, and 18% had 3-5 years experience scouting crops. The participants are either new to scouting or returning for a refresher course. Ninety-six percent of the participants gave this scout school an overall rating of good to excellent.

September 2006
142 - Integrated Pest and Crop Management

Page last updated: October 31, 2006
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