Summer is Here!

Summer Is Here!
Summer is here!! Many of you will be excited for summer break and many farmers are resting from
seeding and spraying.
But for farmers and agri scientists this is also a time of stress, because of the changing weather patterns
as well as natural weather of Canada. Things like hail, frost, heavy rain and winds as well as recently
very hot temperatures may cause crops to die. Also after rainstorms especially is when pests, weeds
and fungus can develop.
This is where we enter the main topic of today’s blog post, Crop Scouting! This is when a farmer goes
out to a field to survey or “scout” damages after a storm or heat wave, insect, weed fungal bacterial or
viral infections/ infestations and decide if the field needs to be sprayed, or if it will be fit to harvest come
August and September.
Crop scouting is not done every day but is done weekly or whenever the farmer is going out into their
field. Anyone can crop scout, even in a small garden, the term is very broad and though mostly used in
the context of agriculture, often one will be crop scouting when they check on their flowers, garden or
vegetable patch.
Crop scouting can be very hands on or use very cool technology. There are cameras and sensors that can
show crop stress before it is visible to the naked eye – this can be important to farmers because it can let
them have more time for decisions on spraying and other control measures. Crop scouting can also be
very hands-on, old school with squares or circles to measure emergence, crop development, weeds and
pests or helpers in different areas of a field.
When you drive by a field and see a farmer doing something you think looks strange it might be that
they are crop scouting and checking for some really cool things!!
Summer is just full of surprises, isn’t it?

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