Corn and soybean producers know that an essential part of pest management is crop scouting. This subject is as vast as the tasks associated with it, and the benefits are evident to farmers. The Crop Protection Network has released a crop scouting and integrated pest management web book to assist agriculturalists.
Why is crop scouting important?
Crop scouting is an essential part of farm pest management. It is the process of assessing pest pressure to help determine what is necessary to mitigate crop loss. Effectively managing weeds, diseases, insect pests and other field issues are often accomplished through the scouting process. Detailed knowledge of the pest situation in a field allows farmers to take proactive action and make appropriate management decisions.
“Scouting is the backbone of any integrated pest management program,” said Scott Graham, Alabama Extension entomology and plant pathology agent. “From insects to diseases or weeds, it is important to understand what pests are in the field and at what point they reach damaging levels.”
According to Graham, the web book provides information on the background of corn and soybean agronomics. It also contains the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of scouting.
Becoming familiar with crop growth stages and learning to look through a field for pests are important scouting skills that the web book covers. Other activities in the web book include stand counts, yield estimation, weed science, plant pathology and entomology subject matter. It emphasizes record keeping and field scouting as well as information from a variety of crop-related disciplines.
“This will be a great resource for corn and soybean farmers,” said Ed Sikora, Extension plant pathologist. “The Crop Protection Network and Extension experts from around the country have worked to make this resource available free of charge to anyone wanting to know about crop scouting.”
The CPN web book is possible thanks to contributions from Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management, National Corn Growers Association and the United States Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
For more information, visit the Crop Protection Network at https://cropprotectionnetwork.org.
Alabama Cooperative Extension contributed this article.