Alabama scouting schools return to in-person format

green stink bug
Green stink bug — image courtesy Alabama Cooperative Extension

After having to switch to a virtual format one year ago, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System crops team will once again host an in-person Cotton and Soybean Scouting Short Course. The 62nd annual scouting school will be hosted in three location throughout June.

Scott Graham, an Alabama Extension cotton, soybean and peanut entomologist, said the team will put the proper safety precautions in place in order to make the in-person scouting school safe for everyone.

Scouting school

Producers have attended scouting schools since the days of the boll weevil. The first cotton scout scoured the fields of west Alabama in 1959, and the cotton scouting school took off shortly after. Today, producers, scouts and industry representatives still meet to discuss crop pests, scouting techniques and control options.

Graham said the scouting school is an excellent opportunity for producers to refresh their memory.

“We encourage producers to attend scouting school because the pest pressures may be similar year after year, but they certainly have some differences—especially when it comes to control methods,” Graham said. “We work to have all of the information farmers need to head into the growing season with confidence in their ability to spot issues and make treatment applications.”

As always, the scouting school will also provide six Continuing Education Units for certified crop advisors and 10 units for pesticide applicators.

Scouting schools dates and times:

Extension personnel will host three workshop dates and locations.

June 3, 8:30 a.m.

Wiregrass Research and Extension Center
167 State Highway 134 E, Headland, Alabama 36345
Registration: Contact the Henry County Extension office
Contact: Kris Balkcom, Jessica Kelton or Sedrick Mack

June 8, 8 a.m.

Autauga County Extension Office
2226 AL-14 West, Autaugaville, Alabama 36003
Registration: Contact the Autauga County Extension office
Contact: Andrew Sparks or John Vanderford

June 15, 8 a.m.

Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center
9494 Experimental Loop, Madison, Alabama 35756
Registration: Contact the Limestone County Extension office
Contact: Eddie McGriff, Andy Page or Tyler Sandlin

Topics of discussion

• Cotton insect pests.

• Description, recognition, life history and damage, seasonal occurrence, management recommendations and threshold levels.

• Scouting safety.

• Agronomics and the use of plant growth regulators in cotton.

• Beneficial insects and sporadic cotton pests (north Alabama).

• Peanut update (south Alabama).

• Soybean pests (north and central Alabama).

• Field training opportunity.

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