A crop scout inspects farmers’ fields and records weed, insect, disease and other observations. This is an important role to help farmers make timely, informed and economical field crop decisions. A crop scout must walk the fields of customers often in order to look for potential pests and situations that impact yields and then make recommendations to the producer based on those findings.
What Responsibilities Will I Have?:
- Walk the fields of customers frequently in order to look for situations that can impact yields
- Identify weeds that are growing in fields when they are less than 3 inches tall
- Make recommendations on herbicide or mechanical control methods
- Locate and identify pests that may impact yield
- Conduct root digs in order to look for corn rootworm and other root-eating pests
- Perform yield estimates throughout the growing season to provide customers with an estimate of what yields will look like
- Use knowledge of growth stages in crops in order to predict potential problems during that stage of the growing season
- Identify and potentially diagnose crop diseases or pest infestation
- Communicate with the farmer or other individuals
- Make recommendations based on findings
- Remain up-to-date on the latest chemistry and technologies (such as drones or apps)
Recommended High School Courses:
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, mathematics, English, biology, chemistry and environmental science.
Although a degree in agronomy, crop science, weed science and other related sciences are extremely helpful, there is no training or education required to be a crop scout. There are crop scout training sessions, typically offered through a local extension office or agriculture retailer, that would be helpful.