Crop Scouting Competition for Iowa Youth 2022


The Iowa State University Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program is pleased to present the twelfth annual Iowa Youth Crop Scouting Competition. Middle school and high school students (those completing grades 7-12) from Iowa are invited to compete and showcase crop scouting abilities in corn and soybean. At this anual event, teams work with with Iowa State University staff and industry professionals to identify corn and soybean problems in the field. Top teams win prizes and advance to the regional competition. All participants will learn, have fun, and get a free t-shirt.

Sponsors this year include Corteva Agriscience, Iowa 4-H Foundation, Bayer, United Soybean Board, Iowa Independent Crop Consultants Association, Iowa Certified Crop Advisors, ISU Integrated Pest Management Program, Iowa Soybean Research Center, and Environmental Tillage Systems.

For 2022, we are planning an in-person competition. This year, the Iowa Youth Crop Scouting Competition team plans to host an in-person competition at the Field Extension Education Laboratory. 

Registration: To register for the competition, please complete this registration form: The deadline for registration is July 1. We can accomodate a maximum number of 12 teams. Registration may close sooner if we reach capacity. Adult team leaders may support no more than 3 teams. Teams need at least two members and may have up to 5 members.

Date of Event: July 28, 2022          

Registration Deadline: July 1, 2022 (or until we are full)

Location: Field Extension Education Laboratory, Boone, IA

Time: Registration begins at 8am. Competition starts at 8:30 a.m and will end by 2:30 p.m.

Purpose: To provide students an opportunity to learn crop scouting and principles of IPM for corn and soybean and to obtain knowledge and skills helpful in future careers related to agricultural and environmental sciences.

Prizes: $500 for 1st, $300 for 2nd, $150 for 3rd, $50 for 4th.  The top team from Iowa will be invited to attend the Regional Crop Scouting Competition on September 15th at Purdue University in Indiana. 

Team Leaders: Each 2-5 person team is to be led and accompanied by an adult team leader. Teams should work with their leader to train on a regular basis before the competition. Past team leaders have been FFA or agriculture teachers, seed dealers, coop employees, and others. No more than 3 teams per sponsoring organization (company, school, club).

Content Topics Teams are Tested on: Teams will be expected to know the basics of IPM and scouting corn and soybean fields. Topics include identification and management of diseases, insects, weeds, and disorders; corn and soybean plant growth stages and plant parts; degree day computation; cover crops and other crops grown in Iowa, and responsible pesticide use including pesticide resistance, sprayer calibration, and reading pesticide labels. A list of station topics and specific station learning goals will be sent to registered teams.

Competition Format and Scoring: During the competition, teams will particpate in actvities at multiple field stations. Youth work as a team to answer questions and demonstrate field skills as asked by station judges. Participation and teamwork of all team members will be part of the scoring process, to ensure each individual is contributing.  Points will be awarded for professionalism. Youth should be prepared to interact with judges in a professional manner including introducing themselves and speaking clearly and with eye contact.There will also be a written exam.

Participation/Permission/Medical Release form: All participants must have a permission form completed and turned in prior to attending the event. These will be sent to teams once they have registered.

Free set of field guides: Each teams that registers by the deadline can receive free set of ISU field guides before the competition for study and practice. We will provide one Corn and Soybean Field Guide and one Weed ID Guide, at no cost, sent to the address provided in the registration on July 1.

scouting soybean plants during the crop scouting competition

Online study materials: There are number of resources that can be used to help prepare students for the competition. 

IPM Curriculum

One of these resources, a 14-part IPM curriculum covering a variety of topics, can be downloaded from the shared folder: Each presentation is available in both PDF and PowerPoint formats and includes notes. These educational materials are for use in school or post-secondary agricultural classrooms, or anywhere there is a need for such materials including at home or on the farm. Please do not remove copyright marks.We would like to thank our generous sponsors who make this project possible: Corteva, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Independent Crop Consultants Association, ScoutPro, Iowa Certified Crop Advisors, and Environmental Tillage Systems.

Agronomist Presentations

Iowa State University State Agronomists have created presentations on scouting and pest management topics for our youth participants. See links belows.

General Scouting Tips – Warren Pierson - Crop Scouting Tips Presentation

Disorders – Angie Rieck-Hinz - Disorders Presentation

Weeds – Meaghan Anderson - Weed presentation (you might also want to check out the new "Weekly Weed Watch" videos)

Insects – Terry Basol - Insect Pest Presentation

Diseases – Rebecca Vittetoe - favorable_disease_conditions.pptx and corn_and_soybean_disease_table_by_growth_stage.pdf

Pesticide Sprayer Information

Teejet catalogue, pages 140-151

Crops Feed the World Online Lessons

For learning some basic knowledge on crop production and pest management you can use the online interactive lessons available for free from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Moodle. For more information on lesson topics and how to access them, visit the Crops Feed the World Webiste:

Crop Scouting Educational Resources Page

Check out the Crop Scouting Educational Resources page from ISU IPM for more great resources on crop scouting.

ISU IPM Youtube Channel

Check out the ISU IPM Youtube Channel for videos related to pest management and scouting In particular, you might want to try the playlists for "Weekly Weed Watch", "Soybean Diseases", "Corn Diseases" and "Entomology".

Flyer: crop_scouting_competition_2022_flyer.pdf

Social Media Posts: 

For questions, email Maya Hayslett,