Scouting is a key step in making management decisions and analyzing decisions that have already been made. Reasons to Scout include: replant decisions, crop growth stages, stress factors, estimated yields, and pest management. Advantage Acre Scouting App allows a user to easily record notes from the field, including pictures. Observations are automatically geotagged and timestamped allowing you to view exactly where the note was observed in the field. Scouting reports are available through both the app and online to allow you to asses if a management decision needs to be made to maximize ROI.
Accessing the Advantage Acre Scouting App
Download the app on a phone or tablet from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. Sign-in to the app using your Advantage Acre credentials. Fields that have been created in Advantage Acre will be accessible through the app. To add a new field, add the field in Advantage Acre, not the app. If you will be in an area with poor cellular service for scouting, download field data from the main menu. If service is available, proceed to scouting.
The Scouting Trip
To begin a scouting trip, click on the main menu (orange bars) in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. From the menu, select Scouting (Figure 1). Search for the field of interest by selecting the field on the map or selecting the field from a list of fields in Advantage Acre.
Figure 1: Begin a scouting trip by selecting scouting from the main menu. Locate the field on the map or select it from a list.
When the field of interest is selected, it is time to begin the scouting trip. Click Start Trip (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Select Start Trip to begin the scouting process.
To begin taking notes, press the + button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to expand the notes menu. (Figure 3). A user can take notes for growth stage, yield estimates, problems, and general notes.
Figure 3. To begin adding notes for the scouting trip, press the + in the bottom right-hand corner to expand the notes menu.
To add an observed growth stage, click on Growth Stage in the notes menu. You can scroll through growth stages to select the appropriate stage. Save by pressing Done (Figure 4A). If you edit a growth stage, the timeline in Advantage Acre will also be edited to correct the predicted growth stage.
Yield estimate can be calculated by selecting Yield Estimate. The Scouting App will calculate an approximate yield when a user inputs observed parameters (Figure 4B). These include: row spacing, number of ears in a 17.4’ row, kernel rows per ear, kernels per row, and kernels per bushel. A user can also add photos and additional notes for the yield estimate record.
Disease, weed, and insect problems can be recorded by pressing Problem. Pests can be searched by typing the name in the search bar (Figure 4C). Once the pest is selected, the incidence percentage can be recorded for the area, along with photos of observations and additional notes. A user can skip adding a pest from the pre-populated list by selecting Skip Pest.
A user can add additional notes by selecting Notes. Photos and any additional notes for the scouting location can be recorded (Figure 4D).
Figure 4. Growth stage (A), yield estimates (B), problems (C), and additional notes (D) can be added to a record for a scouting location.
Complete a Trip
When a scouting trip is completed, press Done in the upper right-hand corner of the main screen. Records will be available in both the app and Advantage Acre.
Scouting reports can be emailed by using the Reports button on the menu (Figure 5A). Once Reports is clicked previous scouting trips will appear. Next click Report in the top right corner, and then select the trips you want to include. Selected trips will be shown with an orange check mark on the left side of the screen (Figure 5B). Select Continue to go to the comments screen. Here the user can apply comments to summarize each scouting trip or to comment on each individual activity to provide insights on what was observed or solutions for the issue (Figure 5C). Again, select Continue to arrive at the finalize screen. Type the recipient's email address in the To: box. Make sure to click enter once you finish typing out the full email. The user has the decision on whether to include the scouting path and economic impact on the report by selecting each category with the slider. The report can be previewed with the Preview Report button and then sent with the Send Report button once approved.
Figure 5. Reports button (A), Activity Select B), Comments (C), and Finalize Report (D). Screens used to email scouting reports