The "Crop Scouting Competition for Iowa Youth 2012" program will be held July 31 at the Iowa State University Extension Farm near Boone in central Iowa, just west of Ames. High school students (those completing grades 9-12) are invited to compete and showcase their scouting abilities in corn and soybean during this one-day event. The competition is conducted by ISU's Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program with support from the Iowa Soybean Association and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
"The crop scouting competition is an opportunity for high school students to learn crop scouting and principles of integrated pest management," says Daren Mueller, ISU Extension IPM specialist. "In preparation for the day of the competition, teams are provided IPM study materials. On July 31, they will complete a knowledge test as well as a crop scouting field exercise."
Schools, clubs, other organizations may enter a team of three or four members
Schools, clubs or other organizations may enter a team composed of three or four participants. Each team of students must be accompanied by an adult team leader. Randall Kuhlmann, FFA adviser at Denison, was the team leader for his school's team in 2011 — the first year of the competition. "The materials were well organized and the sponsors were outstanding," Kuhlmann says. "The competition creates curiosity outside of the classroom and was an excellent opportunity for our students."
Teams have the opportunity to gather information, solve problems and make decisions related to crops and their pests with consideration for the environment and economy.
"Iowa's FFA and 4-H chapters are filled with incredibly talented individuals," says ISA president Dean Coleman. "This annual Crop Scouting Competition for Iowa youth is an opportunity for them to showcase those talents and mingle with crop professionals and industry representatives. The Iowa Soybean Association is proud to again be a part of this unique event."More information about the crop scouting competition is available online at http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/cropscouting. Teams must be registered by July 1. 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 July 1.