This summer four teams honed their crop scouting skills while vying for top honors in the fifth annual Crop Scouting Competition for Nebraska Youth.
Teams of students from fifth through 12th grades completed a written knowledge test and seven crop scouting exercises in field plots at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead.
While students have plenty of opportunities to participate in livestock competitions during county fairs and state fairs, the Crop Scouting Competition was designed to help students learn crop scouting and principles of integrated pest management for corn and soybeans in Nebraska, obtain knowledge and skills that will be helpful in future careers, and demonstrate newer crop scouting technologies.
This year, Colfax County 4-H took first place. Making up Colfax County 4-H are Logan Nelson, Brad Kratochvil, Austin Steffensmeier and Korbin Kudera.
Winning second place was Kornhusker Kids 4H Club of Cuming County, made up of Payton and Levi Schiller, Matthew and James Rolf, and Kaleb Hasenkamp.
Winning third was Humphrey FFA Team No. 2, with Mikayla Martensen, Bryce Classen, Jacob Brandl, and Wyatt Wegener.
Also participating was Fillmore Central FFA, with Carson and Brock Tatro, KayLynn Sieber, Kaylea Geiser and Gunner Gewecke.
The top-scoring teams won prizes of $500 for first, $250 for second and $100 for third place. The top two teams will represent Nebraska at the regional competition held in late August.
Teams were expected to know the basics of scouting corn and soybean fields, including crop staging, patterns of crop injury and disease, and insect and weed seedling identification.
More information about the crop scouting competition is online.
This program was sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, the Nebraska Independent Crop Consultant Association and Farm Credit Services of America in collaboration with Nebraska Extension. If you or a company you know would be interested in sponsoring the 2019 program, contact Brandy VanDeWalle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VanDeWalle is a Nebraska Extension educator. This report comes from UNL CropWatch.