Crop Scout

Crop Scout

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.
Education/Training Required: 
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.
Future Job Market Outlook: 
Typical Employers: 
Crop scouting is often a side job for people, so it can be done independently. Crop consultants, agriculture retailers and seed and chemical companies also hire crop scouts to help their customers maximize yields.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations: 
  • American Society of Agronomy
  • Crop Science Society of America
  • Weed Science Society of America
Average Annual Full-Time Salary: 
$54,000
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Salary data is provided by the AgCareers.com Compensation Benchmark Review™. These salaries should be considered as examples and are provided for educational and exploratory purposes. The salary information provided should not be used as a benchmark. Actual salaries are influenced by numerous variables including but not limited to demographics, size and scope of the role, level of experience, qualifications, and education of the worker.