Many years ago when Michael Jordan was dominating the basketball courts, his incredible shooting ability was often described as "nothing but net"--a mark of smooth perfection. To excel as a crop scout, the best tool of the trade is nothing more than a net (sorry, it's my best analogy). I find the sweep net a perfect tool for first detection of insects in soybeans or alfalfa. In a few quick minutes, a field can be swept and the contents examined. If the insect in question is found, then a more thorough process can be implemented to determine the number of insects per plant, square foot, length of row, etc. A sweep net is helpful for scouting bean leaf beetles and caterpillars in soybeans, and is absolutely essential for scouting potato leafhoppers in alfalfa.
Iowa State University
Rice, Marlin E., "Nothing but (sweep) net" (2006). Integrated Crop Management News. 1237.
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