The annual University of Georgia Insect Scouting Schools are open to farmers, consultants and those interested in learning how to diagnose insect damage on high-value agricultural crops like cotton, peanuts and soybeans.
The schools will be held at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia, on Monday, June 12, and at the Southeast Georgia Research and Education Center in Midville, Georgia, on Tuesday, June 20.
UGA Cooperative Extension entomologists Mark Abney and Phillip Roberts will conduct both trainings, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants will learn basic information on identification of insects and damage, pests’ natural enemies and scouting procedures. The schools will include an in-field review and cover insect and caterpillar pests, beneficial insects and safety.
“No matter the year, you can almost guarantee that insect pressure will be high. Whether you’re talking about burrower bugs in peanuts, thrips in cotton and peanuts, or the kudzu bug in soybeans, there are pests out there that can inflict significant damage on crops if our farmers are not monitoring carefully,” Roberts said. “That’s why we stress the importance of scouting and scouting regularly.”
Beginning scouts will be introduced to insect detection, while experienced scouts and producers could use the sessions as a review.
“These schools offer hands-on training from experienced entomologists who know what to look for in the field,” Roberts said. “All farmers who are producing row crops this year will benefit from these scouting schools.”
Roberts stresses pest management through scouting. UGA Extension advises farmers to scout their crops every week.
To register for the scouting school in Tifton, contact Debbie Rutland at 229-386-3424. To register for the Midville scouting school, contact Peyton Sapp at 706-554-2119.
(Clint Thompson is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences based in Tifton.)