By Adam Sisson, Integrated Pest Management, and Daren Mueller, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
The Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management Program is pleased to present the fourth annual Crop Scouting Competition for Iowa youth. It will be held in central Iowa on August 5. The theme for this year is Crop Scouting Innovations and will include both indoor and outdoor events. Teams of high school students (those completing grades 9-12) from across Iowa are invited to compete.
The purpose of the competition is to provide students an opportunity to learn crop scouting and principles of integrated pest management (IPM) for corn and soybean in Iowa, to obtain knowledge and skills that will be helpful in future careers, and to demonstrate newer crop scouting technologies.
Student team examining plants for herbicide injury at the 2013 competition. Photo courtesy of Tom Schultz.
Schools, clubs or other organizations may enter a team composed of three or four participants. An adult team leader must accompany each team of students. Past team leaders have been FFA or ag teachers, seed dealers, coop employees and others.
Top-scoring teams win prizes: $500 for 1st, $300 for 2nd, $150 for 3rd, $50 for 4th.
Teams will be expected to know the basics of scouting corn and soybean fields. This includes crop staging; looking for patterns of crop injury; disease, insect and weed seedling identification; etc. Other topics may include, but are not limited to, pesticide safety, nutrient disorders and herbicide injury.
Weed identification during last year's competition. Photo courtesy of Tom Schultz.
Scouting a cornfield during the 2013 competition. Photo courtesy of Tom Schultz.
More information about the crop scouting competition and instructions on how to register a team are available online at http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/cropscouting. Teams must be registered by June 15. Registration is $50 per team; the fee will be refunded when the team attends the competition. Payment by check is due along with the registration form by June 15.
Sponsors include DuPont Pioneer, the Iowa Soybean Association, and Iowa Independent Crop Consultants Association.
Adam Sisson is an Integrated Pest Management extension specialist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 294-5899. Daren Mueller is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology. He can be reached at 515-460-8000 or e-mail email@example.com.