By Daren Mueller and Warren Pierson–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
AMES, Iowa – The 2021 Virtual Crop Scout School is now available and is free to the general public. The scout school consists of 22 webinars from crop protection specialists at 11 Midwest universities and is offered through the Crop Protection Network.
Crop scouts, farmers, and other users can choose from a variety of diverse subjects to help them become more knowledgeable on crop scouting. Topics are split into digestible bits so crop scouts can interact with subject matter in a way that best suits their time and interest. Specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will present.
Crop scouting is an important part of integrated pest management that can help farmers obtain higher yields and increased profit per acre. Scouting gives farmers and agronomists a “heads-up” about what is happening in the field, allowing preemptive action and appropriate management decisions to be applied. The field scout gathers information on the crop condition of a field, which can help in discerning which of the various management tools to use.
Scouting crop fields on a regular basis can help to determine emerging crop problems and inform management on decisions.
“The Virtual Crop Scout School is coming on the heels of a new web book on crop scouting released by CPN earlier this year,” said Daren Mueller, associate professor in plant pathology and microbiology and extension specialist at Iowa State University. “Crop scouting can do a lot to bring greater yields to farmers’ fields.”
CPN has partnered with universities across the Midwest to provide the webinars. This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Crop Protection and Pest Management Program through the North Central IPM Center (2018-70006-28883).
CPN is a multi-state and international partnership of university and provincial extension specialists, and public and private professionals that provides unbiased, research-based information. CPN’s goal is to communicate relevant information to farmers and agricultural personnel to help with decisions related to protecting field crops.