2 min read
People gathered around the edge of a field at the cotton scouting short course.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. — Tractors and planters are moving across Alabama as row crop planting and production are underway. It is time for an insect and disease scouting refresher. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System crops team will host the 65th annual Cotton, Peanut and Soybean Scouting Short Course in June in four locations throughout the state.

Scott Graham, an Alabama Extension cotton, soybean and peanut entomologist, said Extension personnel will continue to provide support for producers throughout the summer, but the short course will help producers to get off on the right foot.

Scouting School

Producers have attended scouting schools since the days of the boll weevil. This year, Alabama Extension professionals are celebrating 100 years of cotton entomology in Alabama. 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 short course is an excellent opportunity for producers to refresh their memory. This year, new topics will be discussed, as Extension personnel hope to provide a robust and worthwhile experience.

“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 short course will also provide six continuing education units (CEUs) for certified crop advisors and 10 hours for pesticide applicators.

Scouting Short Course Dates and Times

Extension personnel will host four workshops. To register, call the Center of the short course that you wish to attend. To register for short courses not located at a Research and Extension Center, contact the agronomic crops regional Extension agent coordinating the event.

June 4 — Cotton and Peanut

  • 8 a.m.
  • Wiregrass Research and Extension Center
  • 167 State Highway 134 E., Headland, Alabama 36345

June 11 — Cotton and Soybean

  • 8 a.m.
  • Associated Growers Gin
  • 15031 Brownsferry Road, Athens, Alabama 35611

June 25 — Cotton and Soybean

  • 8 a.m.
  • E.V. Smith Research Center
  • 4725 County Road 40, Shorter, Alabama 36075

June 27 — Cotton

  • 8 a.m.
  • McCord’s Fire Department Station #1
  • 1150 County Road 157, Centre, Alabama 35960

Topics of Discussion

Graham said topics will vary by location to tailor to the needs of producers in a given area. Scouting short course topics include the following:

  • Tarnished plant bug management
  • Stink bug management
  • Plant bug resistance monitoring
  • Managing insects in ThryvOn cotton
  • Beneficial insects
  • Key soybean insect management
  • Cotton agronomic update
  • Peanut insect pests
  • Peanut agronomic update
  • Optimal use of plant growth regulators
  • Open discussion on current problems
  • Secondary cotton insect management
  • In-field training opportunities

Stay Connected

The Alabama Extension crops team produces a regular podcast — the Alabama Crops Report Podcast. Check out past and new episodes on the Alabama Extension website or on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and Spotify.

Subscribe to the Alabama Cotton Shorts newsletter and the Alabama Crops Report weekly newsletter for the most up-to-date cotton production information.

More Information

To register for the scouting short courses in Headland and Shorter, contact the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center or the E.V. Smith Research Center, respectively. Contact Cade Grace to register for the Athens scouting short course. Contact Eddie McGriff to register for the Centre scouting short course.