Field Crop Scout School to be held in March

One-day event will offer foundational lessons for crop scouts

February 3, 2020, 11:00 am | Warren Pierson

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer the annual Field Crop Scout School March 7, at the Scheman Building in Ames.
Intended to be a foundational course, the Field Crop Scout School provides essential information for effective and efficient crop scouting.

This year’s program features sessions such as corn and soybean growth and development, pest identification and scouting methods for beginning crop scouts.
Instructors and their topics for the day include:

  • Virgil Schmitt, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach – Crop scouting tips and tricks.
  • Mark Licht, assistant professor in agronomy and extension specialist at Iowa State – Corn growth and development.
  • Ed Zaworski, plant pathologist for Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic at Iowa State – Crop plant disease identification.
  • Rebecca Baker, weed science graduate research assistant at Iowa State – Weed identification.
  • Warren Pierson, program specialist with the Field Extension Education Laboratory with ISU Extension and Outreach – Soybean growth and development.
  • Erin Hodgson, associate professor and extension specialist in entomology at Iowa State – Insect pest identification.

studying a plant in lab.“The Field Crop Scout School is a staple for those wanting to refresh their knowledge and skills, as well as for those new to crop scouting,” said Pierson. “The educational sessions, combined with the field guide publications, make this an exceptional value for those looking to increase their toolbox of resources to be better growers or crop scouts.”

Five publications are included with registration costs, and include

  • 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.
  • Corn and Soybean Field Guide: includes updated text and 375 images, illustrations, diagrams and tables to assist farmers with identifying corn and soybean diseases, insects and disorders found throughout the Midwest. This 158-page guide focuses on development stages, pesticide decisions and production-related topics, and for the first time, has information on newer soybean viruses to help you when scouting fields this summer.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Advance registration is required. The cost of $100 includes five ISU field publications, lunch, and refreshments. Registration for the course closes March 3, and the course is limited to 75 students.

Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m., with the program running from 8:55 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information and to register, visit Contact Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Services at 515-294-6429, or


Photo: Evaluating plants.


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