Scouting Competition Open to Iowa Students

Students can compete to be Iowa’s top crop scout at the 2018 Crop Scouting Competition

May 24, 2018, 9:02 am | Maya Hayslett

AMES, Iowa — The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Integrated Pest Management program is hosting its eighth annual Crop Scouting Competition for Iowa Youth on July 30. The competition will be held at the ISU Field Extension Education Laboratory, 1928 240 Street. Participants must submit a completed registration form by July 1, 2018 to register for the event.

High school students (those completing grades 9-12) from Iowa are invited to compete and showcase their crop scouting abilities in corn and soybean fields. The competition will be a one-day event, focused on outdoor learning. Youth will get in the fields to scout for problems and learn about possible solutions and strategies. During the competition, participants will have the opportunity to interact with Iowa State faculty, staff and agronomists as well as professionals in crop-related careers. Prizes will be awarded to the top four teams, while the top two teams have the opportunity to advance to the regional competition in Nebraska. All participants will learn, have fun and take home a free t-shirt.

Students evaluating a crop plot for diseases and pests.Crop scouting and IPM are important tools for farmers to increase economic returns while reducing unintended environmental impacts. Equipping future farmers and agronomists with crop scouting skills and basic IPM information will help the next generation of farm decision-makers with crop production and land stewardship. Watch the video recap of the 2017 competition.

This event is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Independent Crop Consultants Association, ScoutPro, Iowa Certified Crop Advisors and Environmental Tillage Systems.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. July 30, with competition starting at 8:30 a.m. Lunch, beverages and snacks will be provided and the day will conclude at 2 p.m. To participate in the competition, a team of three to five youth and an adult coach is required. There is no cost to participate and reimbursement for travel expenses is available.

To learn more about the competition and to register, visit or contact Maya Hayslett at


Teammates evaluate a crop plot to diagnose potential pests and diseases. The Crop Scouting Competition has students enter various simulations ranging from row crops to small garden beds in order to test and broaden their knowledge of disease and pest diagnosis.  


About the Authors: