1/28/19: Summer Crop Scouting

As the snow continues to pile up, so does our planning for the upcoming growing season.  One thing that you need to plan for is to make sure there are eyes on your field throughout the growing season.  It is essential to have your fields continuously checked for any sort of issues so that they can be acted on quickly and efficiently.  You can bet that SFG will be scouting fields as soon as spring starts to come around. 

In order for us to effectively manage weeds while continuing to deplete the soil seed bank, we must get a jump on our chemical plans early and hit the weeds when that are small, or before they even emerge.  While scouting this summer, SFG will be using a program called ScoutPro.  Whoever is scouting will be equipped with an iPad outfitted with this program.  While in the fields, scouts will make notes in ScoutPro and take pictures.  Each time they add information, a pin is dropped with the GPS coordinates.  When you receive the scouting reports from us, you can use Google Maps and see exactly where the scouts came across issues, whether it is weeds, insects, compaction, tile issues or anything else.  The scouting reports are also labeled with a certain level of urgency.  This way we can see which fields need immediate attention and which ones are still in good shape.  ScoutPro allows us to be extremely precise when spotting field issues.  While this is very helpful, it does not do much good to be this precise if the proper management actions are not taken afterward.  With ScoutPro, we can add our sprayer schedules in order to confirm that we are scouting at the proper times.  It’s no secret that ScoutPro is a great program to use.  To utilize it even more, we will be using our in-season imagery from the R7 Tool and the drone to add to our scouting arsenal.  The in-season imagery can help us to spot problem areas before we ever leave the office.  If the images are showing possible issues, notes can be sent to the scouts to make sure that they hit those areas while they are in the field.  When the corn gets above head height, it gets much more difficult for the scouts to see the entire field.  The drone allows us to have a bird’s-eye view and see the entire field at one time.  If you have any sort of questions about SFG’s crop scouting program, give us a call!

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