Meet the Crop Protection Network (CPN)!

Protecting crops from pests is a billion-dollar business, and there’s a lot of information swirling around on how best to do it. Finding high-quality, science-based advice amidst the jumble of messaging can be tough. That’s where the Crop Protection Network (CPN) aims to stand out.

“We’re a collaborative university and Extension organization that produces unbiased, research-based information to help with decisions related to protecting alfalfa, corn, cotton, soybean and wheat,” explains Joey Cornelis, program assistant for CPN at Iowa State University. 

The group works to highlight and elevate the work of individual state Extension programs as they dole out crop protection information to farmers, agribusiness and ag educators, with special focus on the diseases and insects that attack major row crops. Many of their educational resources qualify for continuing education units (CEUs) for certified crop advisors. 

Led by Extension plant pathologists Daren Mueller (Iowa State), Kiersten Wise (University of Kentucky) and Albert Tenuta (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs), CPN is a public resource for the industry, Cornelis notes. “All our resources and outputs are free for anyone to use and can be accessed through our website,” she says. “A one-stop shop for all things crop protection!” 

Here’s a quick look at some of CPN’s most popular resources: 

Sudden Death Syndrome in soybeans. (Photo credit: Daren Mueller, Iowa State University)

Fungicide Efficacy Publications:

CPN publishes efficacy guides for common fungicides used to control foliar and seedling diseases in corn, cotton, and wheat. These efficacy ratings are backed up by field testing over multiple years and locations and can help farmers and other ag professionals determine which fungicides will be most effective against the diseases they are facing in their individual fields. 

Yield Loss Calculator

The Field Crop Disease and Insect Loss Calculator helps measure crop losses caused by diseases and insects. It’s a useful tool for industry agronomists, researchers, extension workers, commodity groups, and funding agencies. Users can search for yield loss data by crop system, time frame, disease, insect, and geographic area.


No cable package required! This series of webinars is released annually, and this season covers a wide range of crop protection topics, from tar spot management to insecticide-resistant aphids and target herbicide spray technology. Viewers can take related quizzes to earn CEUs, if desired. You can catch up on Season 2 of CPN TV here.

Japanese beetle on corn silks. (Photo credit: Daren Mueller, Iowa State University)

Crop Scout School

Targeted toward interns and new agricultural professionals, these webinars take viewers through a range of training, from the basics of scouting down to the latest information on scouting specific pests, like nematodes, or using new technology, such as drones. Watch for the latest round of training webinars to land here this month.

Image Library

Looking for free, high-quality images of plant diseases, insects or disorders, like the ones shown here? CPN has collaborated with the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health to produce a library of just such images, free for use in educational programs through the Bugwood Image Database System.

The website also boasts other resources, such as maps, podcasts, publications, and another digital tool to calculate pest injury severity. 

You can subscribe to the CPN Crop Circles Newsletter, and follow the network on X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

Article by Emily Unglesbee, GROW and Joey Cornelis, CPN; header photo by Mary Burrows, Montana State University, from Bugwood Image Database.