Innovative Youth Corn Challenge


2017 Participating Teams  

Eleven Teams representing Hall, Otoe, Phelps, Dodge, Nance, Colfax, Platte, Custer, Red Willow & Colfax Counties

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. 

Project Purpose

  • 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.Ear of Corn
  • To teach youth all aspects of corn production, as well as a variety of agricultural careers related to corn production. 


4-H members (age 10 & 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)

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, two-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.

2017 Awards/Recognition 

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

Crop Scouting & Records Award - $150
Sustainability Awards (Dryland & Irrigated) - $150/each
"Extra Mile" Award - $150

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

IYCC Planning Resources...
Entry Form (2017) (PDF)

Plot layout diagram

2017 Orientation Recording (mp4)

Participant Checklist (pdf)

Photo Release Form (pdf)

Project Proposal and Innovative Plan (pdf)- Due June 1st 
Project Proposal and Innovative Plan (excel) - Due June 1st

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

Sustainability Award Resources
Field to Market Handout
Lesson 1 - Introduction to Corn Challenge Sustainability Award
Lesson 2 - Fieldprint Calculator
Lesson 3 - Fieldprint Calculator completing Field Management
Lesson 4 - Fieldprint Calculator Final Steps & Results
Lesson 5 - How to Enter your Data in the Contest to Officials
Field to Market Report - DUE DEC 23RD 

Harvest Information - 
 Harvest Report Form -DUE NOV 30th 

     Excel     Printable Form 

 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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