AMES, Iowa – Ten student teams from Iowa high schools competed in the second annual Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Crop Scouting Competition on July 31. The competition was created to increase high school students’ awareness of Iowa agriculture using hands-on learning and teamwork. Students gained corn and soybean scouting experience based on integrated pest management principles by participating in the competition.
Components of the competition included corn and soybean growth staging, weed identification, nutrient deficiency, soybean cyst nematode, and insects and diseases of corn and soybean.
“The participating students were a talented group of individuals,” said Daren Mueller, ISU Integrated Pest Management program director and extension plant pathologist. “Getting the students excited about making good pest management decisions using integrated pest management and saving money sets a great base for their education – and for Iowa’s ag businesses in the future.”
Denison DeKalb , the Denison Community School team, received first place in the competition. The Denison team was led by Randall Kuhlmann, Denison FFA adviser. Second place was awarded to the student team from Clarion-Goldfield, led by Rachel Halbach, a North Central Cooperative agronomist, and Angela Charlson, Clarion-Goldfield FFA adviser. The third place team from the Odebolt-Arthur-Battle Creek-Ida Grove (OA-BCIG) Community School was coached by Jolene Riessen, Pioneer Hi-Bred seed dealer near Ida Grove.
“The class will be coming back,” said Joe Shirbroun, Pioneer Hi-Bred seed dealer and Farmersburg team leader in Clayton County. “They loved it and I truly enjoyed the day. I was proud of the class I had and I told them I wanted them to get some experience and have fun.”
The contest was funded by the Iowa Soybean Association and DuPont Pioneer along with a grant from the North Central Integrated Pest Management Center and support from ISU Extension and Outreach faculty and staff.
LeAnn Strother, Iowa Soybean Association, 515-251-8640