AMES, Iowa -- The annual Iowa State Fair Weed Identification Contest will be held Friday, Aug. 9, from 9–11:30 a.m. in the front lawn of the John Deere Agriculture Building. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach contest has three divisions – future agronomists (youth), general and professional. Winners will be announced at a 3 p.m. awards ceremony inside the John Deere Agricultural Building.
The top five winners in each division will receive a cash prize and a coveted Iowa State Fair ribbon, enough to entice anyone looking for a fun challenge. Future agronomists identify 20 common Iowa weeds, those in the general division identify 30 weeds, and professionals identify 30, plus five extra challenging Iowa weeds.
"Come see how your weed ID skills stand up against some of the most knowledgeable weed experts in our great state," said Meaghan Anderson, extension field agronomist and a contest organizer. "Not sure you’re ready for the big day? You’ve got plenty of time to improve your skills."
Anderson recommends using the following resources as study materials:
- Weed Identification Field Guide – 2nd Edition, $5-$10
- U of Missouri Weed ID Guide
- Michigan State University Turf Weeds
- U of Illinois Weed Identification page
- iNaturalist app available for Apple and Android devices or at iNaturalist.org
Future Agronomists William Crow
General Casey Engen
Professional Karen Stiles (2017 General Champion)
Photo: Contestants at the 2018 Iowa State Fair Weed Identification Contest