AMES, Iowa — The Integrated Pest Management program at Iowa State University is hosting its fourth crop scouting competition on Aug. 5 for teams of Iowa high school students. Organizers announced the 2014 theme, Crop Scouting Innovations, this week along with extending an invitation to participate to teams of high school students (those completing grades 9-12).
The competition will be held in central Iowa and includes indoor and outdoor events. “The competition gives students a chance to learn crop scouting and principles of integrated pest management for corn and soybean in Iowa,” said Daren Mueller, assistant professor in plant pathology and microbiology at Iowa State. “They will learn about newer crop scouting technologies and be able to apply knowledge and skills from the competition to future careers.”
Schools, clubs or other organizations may enter a team composed of three or four participants. An adult team leader must accompany each team of students. Past team leaders have been FFA or vocational agriculture teachers, seed dealers and coop employees.
Teams will be expected to know the basics of scouting corn and soybean fields. This includes crop staging, looking for patterns of crop injury, and disease, insect and weed seedling identification. Other topics may include, but are not limited to, pesticide safety, nutrient disorders and herbicide injury.
Top scoring teams are awarded monetary prizes of $500 for first place, $300 for second, $150 for third and $50 for fourth place.
More information about the crop scouting competition and instructions on how to register a team are available at www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/cropscouting. Teams must be registered by June 15. Registration is $50 per team; the fee will be refunded when the team attends the competition. Payment by check is due along with the registration form by June 15.
Sponsors include DuPont Pioneer, the Iowa Soybean Association, and Iowa Independent Crop Consultants Association.