Crop Scout School Planned

Farmers and crop consultants can improve their knowledge of current issues by attending the Crop Scout School May 17, at the Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Crawfordsville.

The scout school, hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, is intended to be a foundational course, providing essential information for effective and efficient crop scouting.

Topics to be covered 

  • Crop scouting tips and tricks – Virgil Schmitt, extension field agronomist.
  • Corn and soybean growth and development and staging – Mark Licht, assistant professor agronomy and extension cropping systems specialist.
  • Crops disease identification – Ed Zaworski, extension specialist, plant pathologist.
  • Weed identification – Meaghan Anderson, extension field agronomist.
  • Insect pest identification – Ashley Dean, extension specialist, entomology.
  • Other crop issues and challenges (nutrient deficiencies, herbicide injury, etc.) – Virgil Schmitt and Rebecca Vittetoe, extension field agronomists.
  • Hands-on practice out in the field – Clarabell Probasco, Virgil Schmitt, and Rebecca Vittetoe, extension field agronomists.

“This Crop Scout School is a great opportunity to those wanting to refresh their knowledge and skills, as well as for those new to crop scouting,” said Rebecca Vittetoe. “The educational sessions, hands-on practice out in the field, and field guide publications, make this an exceptional value for those looking to increase their toolbox of resources to be better growers or crop scouts.”

Publications and resources included with registration 

  • Soybean Diseases and Corn Diseases booklets provide 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.
  • 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.
  • Early, mid, and late season corn and soybean scouting cards are record keeping tools that outline diseases, insects, and disorders that occur to corn and soybean plants during the early, mid, and late parts of the growing season.
  • A digital 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 to help you when scouting fields this summer.
  • A digital 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.

Advance registration is required. The cost of $100 includes the above printed and digital publications, lunch and refreshments. Registration for the course closes May 12, and the course is limited to 70 students.

The Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm is located at 3115 Louisa-Washington Road, Crawfordsville. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m., with the program running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To register, visit For questions related to registration, contact Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Services at 515-294-6429 or For all other questions, contact Rebecca Vittetoe at 712-540-3319 or