How much growers and their retailers utilize soil testing and scouting varies greatly. But they should step up their game here, say experts CropLife® magazine touched base with for news in these disciplines. Why? Soil testing gives producers insights on how and where to best spend their limited fertilizer dollars. And scouting, especially during times of tight margins, can be a way to make better pest management decisions.
Scouting is one of the most critical services that ag retailers and consultants can offer their grower-customers. The need for accurate information about crop conditions, including weeds, insects and other pests, has never been greater. There’s a lot riding on a successful scouting program. Improved yields and higher profits are much aharder to achieve if scouting is not done as fast and efficiently as possible. Timing is of the essence. And with the number of acres to cover and pests to manage seemingly every year, this can be a daunting challenge for even the most experience precision ag professional.
DECATUR – What started as an assignment for three Iowa State University students has become a business that serves farmers working over 4 million acres from North Dakota to Ohio. Michael Koenig, Holden Nyhus and Stuart McCulloh were studying agriculture education with the expectation of becoming ag teachers.
Their class project involved creating a unique business plan and they decided to find a way, using technology, to allow farmers or crop scouts to identify and map pest problems faster and easier. Their ScoutPro apps were born to identify weeds and pests in the field using an iPad instead of lugging heavy books.