Nebraska Extension is pleased to announce the fifth annual Crop Scouting Competition for Nebraska youth. Youth interested in crops have the opportunity to learn about crop growth and development and basic crop scouting principles.
Don't know a lot about crops? Ask a local agronomist to assist by providing a short lesson on crop production. You can have the agronomist meet with youth a little during each meeting or outside of the meeting. This is one way to engage youth interested in crops.
This contest will be held virtually on July 28. Teams of middle school through high school students (those completing grades 7-12) from across Nebraska are invited to participate.
With the virtual option, space will be limited to the first 10 teams that register. Teams will compete in a fun, group online game instead of the written individual test.
The scouting exercises will enable teams to work together via Zoom. They will be given a scenario or task to complete and communicate their answers to the Nebraska Extension judge.
Clubs or other organizations may enter a team composed of three to five participants. An adult team leader must guide students through the process. Team leaders could be FFA advisors, crop consultants, Extension staff, co-op employees, etc.
Top-scoring teams win prizes: $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $100 for third place. Teams are expected to know the basics of scouting corn and soybean fields. This includes crop staging; looking for patterns of crop injury; disease, insect and weed seedling identification; etc. Other topics may include but are not limited to pesticide safety, nutrient disorders and herbicide injury.
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A free package of study materials will be mailed to each team that registers by the deadline. When teams register, we will send one package to every team sponsor that provides an address. Study materials will include:
- weed, disease and insect guide
- corn and soybean field guide
- a magnifier for your phone camera (if funding allows)
- additional promotional items
We also are providing "Office hours with an Agronomist." Starting soon, Nebraska Extension agronomists or specialists will share some scouting information and answer your questions.
The office hours are open to all youth in grades 7-12. No registration is required. A link will be posted on this webpage on the day of the office hours that will direct you to a Zoom meeting to participate.
Teams must be registered by July 15. This program is sponsored by Nebraska Independent Crop Consultant Association and Nebraska Extension.
VanDeWalle is a Nebraska Extension educator.