A crop scout inspects farmers’ fields and records weeds, insects, diseases and other observations to help farmers make timely, informed and economical field-crop decisions. A crop scout must walk customer fields often 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 to look for situations that can impact yields
- Identify weeds and other unwanted growth in the fields
- Make recommendations on herbicide or mechanical control methods
- Locate and identify pests that may impact yield
- Conduct root digs 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 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 about findings
- Make recommendations based on findings
- Stay up to date on the latest chemistry and technologies (such as drones or apps)
- Maintain records of findings including weeds, pests and recommendations made
Recommended High School Courses:
- agricultural education
- plant science
- environmental science
No training or education is required to be a crop scout. However, a high school diploma or equivalent is preferred. There are crop scout training sessions, typically offered through a local extension office or agriculture retailer, that would be helpful.