Students test their pest control skills at the 2022 Iowa Youth Crop Scouting Competition


Youth in grades 7 through 12 from across Iowa tested their IPM skills through multiple tasks and challenges, both in the field and in the classroom, at the 12th Annual Pest Scouting Competition. cultures for young people in Iowa on July 28.

Clayton County 2 Crop Recognition Contest first place team (left to right) Jake Schilling, Nick Deitchler and Ben Gibson. Photo courtesy of Lexa Krause.

The event, hosted by Iowa State University’s Integrated Pest Management Program and Iowa 4-H Youth Development, gave young people the opportunity to work and learn from faculty, staff, agronomists and Iowa State professionals in crop-related careers. The teams competed at the Field Extension Education Laboratory in Boone. Teams prepared months in advance for the chance to win cash prizes and compete with teams from Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Indiana in the regional competition crop screening Sept. 15 at Purdue University in Indiana.

According to Maya Hayslett, crop science youth education specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, the annual competition tested and increased student knowledge in the areas of IPM, crop growing and identification. pests, as well as the many careers available in agriculture.

The field stations focused on corn and soybean crop management and included topics on insects, weeds, diseases, abiotic injury, pesticide use and sprayer calibration, crops coverage, growth stages and crop morphology. Specialists tested each team’s knowledge of the topic and provided feedback and discussion on their responses. Additionally, the youth took a written test to assess their understanding of LAI principles and best practices to ensure each team member was fluent. After the judging was over, the youths enjoyed lunch and team building activities so the teens who traveled from all over the state could get to know each other.

“The goal of the Iowa Youth Crop Scouting Competition is to educate Iowa youth in the basics of Integrated Pest Management, fostering a lifelong understanding of the concepts and importance of IPM, and thus improving the quality of life by increasing economic returns and reducing adverse effects. environmental impacts of agriculture,” Hayslett noted. “It also gives young people the opportunity to interact with agricultural professionals.”

A contest judge commented, “The Iowa Youth Scouting Competition provides an opportunity for young people to showcase their knowledge of corn and soybean production management. However, perhaps most important is the benefit of interacting with agricultural production specialists from ISU and industry to learn more about the dozens of careers available in agriculture.

The number 2 team from Clayton County received first place in this competition, followed by the number 1 team from Clayton County in second place. The Clayton County teams were led by Joe and Suzanne Shirbroun. The Clayton County No. 2 team members are Nick Deitchler, Ben Gibson and Jake Schilling. The Clayton County No. 1 team members are Lane Orr, Tristan Weigand and Keaton Klingman. These top two Clayton County teams will qualify for the regional competition.

The East Pottawattamie County team led by Tom Harder took third place. The members are Roman Scheffler, Collin Harder, Parker Weirich and Abbie Willet.

The Cherokee County Royal Farmers, led by Ann and Jeff Goth, came in fourth. The members are Derek Goth and Kaden Galles.

These top four winning teams received cash prizes for their achievements.

Prizes, lunches and other event support were made possible by the following sponsors: Corteva Agriscience, Iowa 4-H Foundation, Bayer, United Soybean Board, Syngenta, Iowa Independent Crop Consultants Association, Iowa Certified Crop Advisors and Environmental Tillage Systems.

To learn more about the Iowa Youth Crop Scouting Competition, visit the IPM website.



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