Field Scouting Basics Workshop a One-Day Course for Crop Scouts

Corn and soybean crop scouts will learn basic approaches to field scouting at the Field Extension Education Laboratory

April 25, 2018, 11:54 am | Warren Pierson, Brent Pringnitz

recently emerged corn plants alongside a tape measure.AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer a Field Scouting Basics Workshop on Thursday, May 10, at the Field Extension Education Laboratory near Boone. Designed for beginning-level crop scouts, the course provides hands-on, in-field experience for the 2018 growing season.

“The goal of the workshop is to provide a hands-on learning opportunity in the field lab, and help participants feel confident when they’re scouting fields in 2018,” said Warren Pierson, program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Scouts are the "eyes and ears" in the field and their reports help drive pest management decisions. Crop scouts often discover other problems in the field, such as nutrient deficiencies, implement malfunctions, and other issues that might not otherwise be noticed during the growing season.”

ISU Extension and Outreach specialists and extension field agronomists provide instruction on the principles of integrated pest management with emphasis on weed, insect and crop disease identification in Iowa corn and soybean production. An overview of basic field scouting skills including sample collection, observation and documentation is also offered.

An optional Agricultural Worker Pesticide Safety Training session is included with registration. Recent updates to the Worker Protection Standard require crop scouts who enter fields where pesticides have been applied to receive training before they begin work and every 12 months.

The Field Scouting Basics Workshop presentation topics and instructors include:

  • Crop scouting tips and tools – Angie Rieck-Hinz, extension field agronomist
  • Corn and soybean growth and development – Mark Licht, extension cropping systems agronomist
  • Weed identification – Bob Hartzler, extension weed specialist
  • Disease identification – Ed Zaworsky, Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic
  • Insect identification – Erin Hodgson, extension entomologist
  • Agricultural Worker Pesticide Safety – Betsy Buffington, extension program specialist

Registration check-in opens at 9:30 a.m. The program starts at 10 a.m. and adjourns at 4 p.m. The optional Worker Protection Safety Training session follows until 5 p.m. Pre-registration is required and must be completed before midnight, May 6. Registration is $100. Additional workshop information and online registration is available at

For assistance with registration, receipts, cancellation or questions on the status of your registration contact ANR Program Services at 515-294-6429 or


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