Agronomy

Project Area Photos


Get your hands dirty in Crop Production! Find out how soils, bugs, beetles and more affect your crops. Whether it’s corn, soybeans, wheat, hay or silage, 4-H crop production is for you!


  • Learn how soil, seeds, weather, pests, and fertilizer affect field crops
  • Be a scientist and do experiments with crops
  • Use new technology that is changing the way field crops are grown
  • See the value and uses of field crops

Ideas for Project Area Learning



  • Find differences when you: plant seeds in different soils, use different fertilizers and control weeds & pests
  • Identify what helps plants grow, and what’s harmful to them
  • Take a soil sample and learn soil and nutrient requirements
  • Calculate growing degree days
  • Scout fields for pests and growing conditions
  • Decide what varieties of crops to plant and at what time
  • Manage your own crops based on Integrated Crop Management principles
  • Calculate harvest losses and their causes
  • Identify how new technology impacts crop production

Share What You Learn with Others!



Communication


  • Show your group the difference between a healthy plant and a sick one, and tell how that happens.
  • Develop a journal with the details of the fields you scout.
  • Present on the insects that are beneficial and pests to crops (visit the 4-H Entomology page).

Civic Engagement


  • Help teach others about farm safety.
  • Join and participate in a farm commodity association.
  • Organize and lead an appreciation event for farmers during harvest.

Leadership


  • Create farm safety rules for your family and share with others.
  • Plan a tour of a seed corn plant for your group.
  • Develop a “harvest loss frame” and use it to help other farmers calculate their harvest losses.

Exhibit Ideas



  • Create a booklet of different uses of corn and soybeans
  • Keep a journal of your plants, recording rainfall and other weather data, fertilizer and pesticide application, hybrid variety selection and other factors that influence the growth and development of your crop
  • Create soil maps of a farm and demonstrate different properties such as soil types, drainage, CSR, and slope.  (For a program to create soil maps, visit the USDA Web Soil Survey page.)
  • Design a poster to teach others about the information provided on seed labels
  • Give an educational presentation on resources that are available to help in conservation planning
  • Follow commodity markets for a month.  Record the change in prices.  Create a chart to show the changes prices and how it would change a decision to purchase or sell.
  • Develop a journal of common diseases, insects, and other problems found in your area while crop scouting.

Other Resources

  • Beyond the Bean Online- The United Soybean Board brings together soybean producers to talk about hot soybean topics along with exports, biotech, new uses, sustainability, and much more!
  • Iowa Soybean Association- Find out more about soybean news, organic soybeans, soyfoods, biodiesel, and anything else soybean-related.
  • National Corn Growers Association -  Learn all about corn as well as current news, and other hot topics such as conservation, ethanol, corn sugar, policies, and more.
  • Iowa Corn Growers- There are so many ways to use Iowa corn!  Find out more about production and uses of corn in Iowa and the US as well as much more!
  • ISU Agronomy- Become an Agronomist with the Iowa State University Agronomy Department.  Find out how you can pursue a career in Agronomy as well as the department's working with ISU Extension.
  • Bug Guide- Iowa State University's guide to identifying insects and finding more information.  For more more information on insects, visit the 4-H Entomology page.
  • Weed Management Guide- The University of Nebraska-Lincoln presents an online weed management guide for matching herbicides with weeds as well as identifying them.
  • ISU Seed Testing Lab- Learn more about how seeds start to grow and how to have your seeds tested.