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Opportunity for Iowa youth to learn agronomy

2016 Crop Scouting Competition; Daren Mueller discussing soybean diseases with a team of Iowa youth at the plant disease field station.

The seventh annual Crop Scouting Competition for Iowa youth will be July 31 at the Field Extension Education Laboratory in Boone, Iowa.

The competition is hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.

The event brings awareness to Iowa agriculture and teaches more about integrated pest management basics through hands-on learning and teamwork by having Iowa high school students put their crop scouting skills to the test, competing against teams across the state.

“I like to bring my FFA students to this competition because it enables them to learn from ISU Extension and Outreach faculty and staff,” said Mr. James Abbas, FFA advisor in Ackley, Iowa.

Teams will be judged on their crop and scouting knowledge through topic-specific field stations and with a written exam.

Topics include: crop diseases, insects, disorders, weed identification, herbicide injury, crop growth stages, degree day computation, and sprayer calibration and sprayer issues.

For the past six years, Joe Shirbroun of Clayton County has been a team leader. “The competition is a great way to connect education to the industry,” Shirbroun said.

The top four teams, based on points from the field stations and exam, are eligible to win cash prizes. The top two teams will be invited to the regional competition held in Indiana.