2014 Crop Scouting Competition Open to High School Students

April 28, 2014
ICM News

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 ajsisson@iastate.edu 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 dsmuelle@iastate.edu.

Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on April 28, 2014. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.


Adam Sisson Extension Program Specialist III

Adam Sisson is an extension specialist with the Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Sisson focuses on the development of publications and other educational resources for farmers, agribusiness, and students. He receive...

Daren Mueller Assistant Professor

Dr. Daren Mueller is an assistant professor and extension plant pathologist at Iowa State University. He is also the coordinator of the Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Dr. Mueller eraned his bachelor's degree from the Unive...