Innovative Youth Corn Challenge

     Innovative Youth Corn Challenge

2023 Results
First PlaceYork County 4-H CSI Team
Second Place: 
Sumner-Eddyville-Miller FFA
Third Place: Arlington FFA Chapter
Extra Mile Award:  Arlington FFA Chapter
Ag Literacy Award:
Exeter-Milligan-Friend FFA Chapter & Arlington FFA Chapter
Innovative Youth Corn Challenge

As rural communities struggle to keep young people in their communities, the Innovative Corn Challenge is a project designed to encourage youth to pursue an agricultural career and return to rural Nebraska. 

Don't know a lot about corn?  UNL Extension has you covered with basic resources related to corn production. 

View for yourself what the Exeter-Milligan-Friend FFA Chapter and Arlington FFA Chapter did with their Ag Literacy videos. 

2024 Registration is closed!

Project Purpose

Planting field
  • To achieve new and innovative crop production methods to improve yields and provide research data for producers to implement in their operations which are economically feasible.
  • To disseminate data to corn producers, researchers, and agri-businesses to examine and decide whether the practices used will help their operation achieve higher yields.
  • To introduce youth to a variety of agronomic professionals, including corn producers. Youth will be working with an adult to mentor them through the process. These adults could be extension faculty, ag teachers, or other qualified agronomy professionals.
  • To teach youth all aspects of corn production, as well as a variety of agricultural careers related to corn production. 


4-H members (age 8 & older as of Jan. 1st) or FFA members (in-school members) may participate.
Yields, cropping history, and production information will be included in the Corn Yield Challenge management summary. (No limit on teams/county)

Ear of Corn

4-H Members
4-H'ers from each county are challenged to produce the most economical, highest yielding corn. The team with the highest percent yield increase over their local county average will win cash awards for their 4-H project to be used for plant science or leadership based programs.

FFA Members
FFA members from each chapter are challenged to produce the most economical, highest-yielding corn. The team with the highest percent yield increase over their local county average will win cash awards for their FFA project to be used for plant science or leadership-based programs.

Requirements for Participation

Each participating team needs a minimum of two, one-acre plots, which will be harvested for the Challenge. The plots can be on privately or publicly owned land but youth should be involved in the planning, managing, and harvesting of the plots.
Participants planting randomized and replicated plots are encouraged and if completed correctly will receive "bonus points". Both irrigated and dryland fields are eligible and will be scored accordingly.


Money is encouraged to be spent on furthering their projects which could include participation in activities such as workshops or agricultural tours, or next year's project, etc. Team plaques will be given to the top 1, 2, & 3rd place teams.

Awards include:
1st Place Corn Challenge - $1,000
2nd Place Corn Challenge - $500
3rd Place Corn Challenge - $250

Ag Literacy Communications Award $200
"Extra Mile" Award - $200

All teams will receive $50 and a certificate of recognition. 

Harvest calculations

IYCC Planning Resources...
Plot layout diagram

2024 Orientation Recording.    Powerpoint Slides

Participant Checklist (pdf)

Photo Release Form (pdf)

Project Proposal (pdf) - Due June 15th

Scouting Form (Use during growing season) Submit these with Harvest Report Form

Harvest Information 

Harvest Report Form Due December (PDF)

Innovation Explanation Due with Harvest Report Form (PDF) 

 Production Records OPTIONAL 
     Excel     PDF      PDF Example     PDF Example 2    
Custom Rates
Cost of Irrigation System
Corn Budgets 
Review of the Scientific Method
Setting up an On-Farm Research Trial

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