Crop Scouting Competition set for Iowa youth

     Registration is open for the 2022 Crop Scouting Competition for Iowa Youth, presented by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Integrated Pest Management program and Iowa 4-H Youth Development.

     The 12th annual event will be held on July 28 at the Field Extension Education Laboratory, 1928 240th St., Boone.

     Middle school and high school students in Iowa completing grades 7-12 are invited to put their crop scouting skills to the test, competing against other youth teams from across the state. The goal of the event is to build awareness of integrated pest management in Iowa and to provide an opportunity for Iowa youth to learn crop scouting basics through hands-on learning and teamwork. The event includes a free lunch from Hickory Park.

     During the competition, teams rotate between different crop plots at the field stations where they are evaluated on their knowledge and skills in crop scouting. Stations are run by ISU Extension and Outreach faculty and staff as well as ag industry professionals, giving students the opportunity to work next to and learn from experts.

     Potential topics include crop diseases, insects, disorders, weed identification, crop growth stages, cover crops, sprayer calibration and pesticide use. Youth also will complete a written exam on general principles and strategies of crop scouting and integrated pest management.

     The top four teams, based on points accrued from the field stations and exam, are eligible to win cash prizes. The top two teams will advance to the regional competition to compete against teams from six states. The regional competition will be held at Purdue University in September.

     “Each year youth comment on the amount of learning that happens, how great the judges are and the fun they have,” said Maya Hayslett, crop science youth education specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach and program coordinator for the Iowa Youth Crop Scouting Competition. “No matter the team’s level of expertise, they can expect to learn and have fun.”

     ISU Extension and Outreach has resources including field guides, publications and presentations to help each team prepare for the event. For more information, resources and to register, visit a recap from last year’s event.

     For more information, please contact Maya Hayslett at


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