Youth Crop Scouting Event Tests Valuable Skills

Seven teams of youth, shown here, participated in the 6th Annual Crop Scouting Competition. The top two teams, Colfax County 4-H and Kornhusker Kids 4-H Club Team #1, will represent Nebraska at the Regional program in Iowa on August. 26. (Photos by Brandy VanDeWalle
Figure 1. Seven teams of youth participated in the 6th Annual Crop Scouting Competition. The top two teams, Colfax County 4-H and Kornhusker Kids 4-H Club #1 team, will represent Nebraska at the Regional program in Iowa on August. 26. (Photos by Brandy VanDeWalle)

Youth Crop Scouting Event Tests Valuable Skills

Seven teams from across Nebraska participated in the sixth annual Crop Scouting Competition for Nebraska Youth July 23. It was held at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead. Teams of students (those completing 5-12th grades) participated by completing a written knowledge test and seven crop scouting exercises in field plots. Teams were expected to know the basics of scouting corn and soybean, including crop staging; looking for patterns of crop injury; and disease, insect and weed seedling identification. 

Kornhusker Kids 4-H Club examine a corn plant to answer questions in the corn growth stage, maturity and development section of the crop scouting contest.
Figure 2. The Kornhusker Kids 4-H Club Team #2 works to solve test questions during the corn growth and development session.

The purpose of the competition w­­­as to provide students an opportunity to learn crop scouting and principles of integrated pest management (IPM) for corn and soybeans, to obtain knowledge and skills that will be helpful in future careers, and to demonstrate newer crop scouting technologies.

Winners of the 2019 competition were:

  • First place ($500 prize) – Colfax County 4-H (R. J. Bayer, Jestin Bayer, Austin Steffensmeier, Logan Nelson, and Brad Kratochvil)
  • Second place ($250 prize) – Kornhusker Kids 4-H Club #1 (Payton and Levi Schiller, Matthew Rolf, and Kaleb Hasenkamp)
  • Third place ($100 prize) – Kornhusker Kids 4-H Club #2 (Landon Hasenkamp, Ethan Kreikmeier, James Rolf, and Ian Schiller)

The top two teams will represent Nebraska at the regional competition to be held in Iowa on August 26.

Also participating were:

  • Humphrey FFA with Bryce Classen, Jacob Brandl, and Mikayla Martensen
  • Twin River FFA with Keaton Zarek, Kyle Kemper, Jacob Czarnick, and Landon Cuba
  • Auburn FFA with Kellen Moody, Austin Youngquit, Braden Gerdes, and Riley Stukenholtz
  • Wayne FFA with Justus Greves, Noah Lutt, Tyler Reinhardt, Elle Barnes, and Alyssa Carlson

More information about the crop scouting competition is available online at cropwatch.unl.edu/youth. Click on the link that says, “Crop Scouting Competition.”

This program was sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, the Nebraska Independent Crop Consultants 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 2020 program, please contact me at brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu.