AMES, Iowa – The 11th annual Crop Scouting Competition for Iowa Youth will be held July 26 at the Field Extension Education Laboratory in Boone, Iowa, at 1928 240th St. The in-person event is presented by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Integrated Pest Management program.
Iowa middle school and high school students completing grades 7-12 are invited to put their crop scouting skills to the test against other Iowa youth teams across the state. Teams of two to five youth work with an adult team leader to prepare for the competition by learning about crop scouting, pest management and the responsible use of pesticides. At the competition, youth teams work together to answer questions and demonstrate field skills for station judges.
Teams’ crop knowledge will be tested at topic-specific field stations run by ISU Extension and Outreach faculty and staff and other industry professionals, giving youth the opportunity to work next to and learn from experts. Potential topics include crop diseases, insects, disorders, weed identification, herbicide injury, crop growth stages, degree day computation, and sprayer calibration and sprayer issues.
This event provides youth an opportunity to obtain knowledge and skills helpful in future careers related to agricultural and environmental sciences. The top four teams, based on points accrued from the field stations and exam, are eligible to win cash prizes.
The 2021 Iowa Youth Crop Scouting Competition will be in-person and all activities will be outside. Appropriate safety measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be used. Directions on procedures and precautions will be sent to registered teams closer to the competition date.
“We are excited to return to an in-person event this summer after hosting a virtual competition last year,” said Maya Hayslett, crop science youth education specialist for Iowa State University, and program coordinator for the Iowa Youth Crops Scouting Competition. “No matter the team’s level of expertise, they can expect to learn, develop professional skills, have fun and meet new people.”
ISU Extension and Outreach has various resources such as field guides, publications and presentations to help each team prepare for the event. For more information, resources, and to register a team, visit www.ipm.iastate.edu/crop-scouting-competition-iowa-youth-2021. If you have questions, please contact Maya Hayslett at email@example.com.
The event is sponsored by Iowa 4-H Youth Development, Corteva, Farmers Edge, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Independent Crop Consultants Association, Iowa Soybean Research Center, Iowa Certified Crop Advisors and Environmental Tillage Systems.
Photo caption: A youth team demonstrates knowledge of corn staging at the 2019 Crop Scouting Competition. Photo by Ethan Stoetzer.