The Iowa State University Extension Field Crop Scout School prepares individuals with little or no previous crop scouting experience, providing a foundation of basic skills for corn and soybean crop scouting in the Midwest.

This program has been designed for beginning crop scouts to ensure they are ready for success when they go to the field. Correctly identifying pests in the field is critical for selecting the correct tools to economically manage the issue. The course features sessions on corn and soybean growth and development, weed, disease and insect identification, along with scouting methods and techniques.

Registration includes the following ISU publications: Corn and Soybean Field Guide, Weed Identification Field Guide, Field Crops Insects, Corn Diseases, and Soybean Diseases.

Space is limited to the first 75 registered due to limited classroom space and to ensure small group sizes. Students will rotate through classes and have the opportunity to have more one-on-one interactions with specialists. Live corn and soybean plants will be provided to students to give them the opportunity to look at living plants, rather than pictures. It will also give them the opportunity to practice with their field guides before they go to the field.


8:30 am Registration and check-in
9:00 am Morning rotations begin
Students will divide into smaller groups, rotating through Scouting Tips and Tricks, Corn Growth and Development, and Soybean Growth and Development (40 minutes each)
11:30 am Lunch (provided)
12:15 pm Afternoon rotations begin
Students will divide into smaller groups, rotating through Weed, Insect and Crop Disease Identification (50 minutes each)
3:15 pm Course adjourns


March 30, 2019

Registration check-in 8:30 AM.
Program begins at 9:00 AM concludes at 3:15 PM.


Field Extension Education Laboratory
1928 240th St
Boone, IA 50036


Virgil Schmitt

Extension field agronomist

Crop scouting tips and tricks

What should I take to the field? How do I record what I see out there? How will I communicate with the farmer and/or agronomist? This session will answer these questions and more.

Mark Licht

Extenison cropping systems specialist

Corn growth and development

Learn what to look for when checking stand establishment, staging corn and why staging corn for management decisions is important. Common injury symptoms to look for in the field will also be discussed.

Ed Zaworski

Plant Pathology Diagnostician, Extension Program Specialist

Crop plant disease identification

This session provides tips for differentiating between diseases with similar symptoms as well as other symptoms and injuries that may be mistaken for crop diseases.

Meaghan Anderson

Extension field agronomist

Weed identification

Weeds in crop fields are becoming more difficult to manage over time. Learn to identify common weed species in Iowa fields and some key things to record when scouting.

Rasel Parvej

Post-doctoral research associate, Agronomy

Soybean growth and development

Properly staging soybeans is critical for pesticide applications including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides to avoid crop injury and ensure that the pesticide will be economically reasonable.

Erin Hodgson

Extenison entomologist

Insect pest identification

Managing crop insect pests well requires proper identification of insects in the field. Erin will teach how to identify and scout for common insect pests in crops as well as how to tell the differences between other insects that look similar.



Registration, prior to midnight, March 26, 2019

Registration includes lunch, refreshment breaks, field guides and course materials.



  • Pre-registration is required to attend this course. Registrations must be received prior to midnight, March 26, 2019.
  • Class size is limited to 75 and pre-registration is required to attend. Registrations accepted on a first-come, first-paid basis. Registration will be closed if the course reaches capacity.
  • Requests for refunds must be received prior to midnight, March 26, 2019. Substitutions will be allowed.
  • Confirmation of registration is sent via email. Please provide a valid email address when registering


John Sawyer

Warren Pierson
coordinator, Field Extension Education Laboratory
(515) 509-8308

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