AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has published the Field Crop Scouting book as an online learning tool for students and ag professionals in Iowa. This interactive textbook allows individuals to acquire knowledge about crop scouting topics such as corn and soybean growth stages, insect identification, crop diseases and weed identification through a self-paced, innovative design.
“We put together this online resource with information about what a healthy crop looks like, how to assess it, what insects, diseases or weeds are present, and the risks associated with these issues to help create stronger crop production systems in Iowa,” said Daren Mueller, assistant professor and extension specialist in plant pathology and microbiology at Iowa State University. “We developed it to appeal to two different types of audiences to promote education in youth and to give ag professionals an opportunity for training in crop scouting basics.”
The Field Crop Scouting book was developed with two audiences in mind — general readers or students who are interested in furthering their knowledge in crop scouting, and users such as crop scouts, agronomists, commodity groups and others working in the agriculture industry who wish to obtain a certificate of completion. Web book tutorials will contain guided practice to give the learners experience and confidence. Immediately after the guided tutorials, assessment of student comprehension is conducted to test understanding of concepts.
“For those interested in earning a certificate, your success will be based on how well you do in the activities and quizzes throughout the book,” said Adam Sisson, extension specialist for the Integrated Pest Management program at Iowa State University. “The certificate of achievement will provide verification to their employers that they’ve been trained in the basic concepts of crop scouting.”
The Field Crop Scouting book is $29.99 and can be purchased online at Bleep Blorp Books (bleepblorp.pub/store/1). The book provides high-resolution images, videos, slideshows, interactive graphs and animated figures. Readers will be able to move easily from one topic to another and explore issues based on their interests. The learning tool can be accessed through any online browser or mobile device.
The online book is sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Integrated Pest Management at Iowa State University and the United States Department for Agriculture.