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All-new 4-H crop scouting event

Jared Goplen, Extension educator - crops and Brian McNeill – Extension educator - youth development

Crop scouting skills are essential for any farming operation to maximize crop production and economic returns. The University of Minnesota Extension 4-H program is excited to announce an all-new crop scouting event kicking off this summer. This crop scouting event aims to equip the next generation of farmers and ag-industry specialists with basic crop scouting and pest management skills helpful for any career in agriculture, environmental sciences, or food production.

The 4-H Crop Scouting event is designed as a competition, where teams will compete by testing their skills in troubleshooting agronomic issues and weed, insect, and disease identification at hands-on field stations.

  • Who: 4-H and FFA teams in grades 7-12 at any skill level are invited to participate. 
  • When: Monday, July 29 
  • Where: Near Benson, MN at a crop research farm. 
The top two teams will qualify for the regional competition in Iowa.

Teams interested in participating can sign up by June 1st at:

Teams should prepare by developing their knowledge and critical thinking skills in pest management and agronomy of Minnesota’s common field crops. Teams should learn about topics such as:
  • Insects
  • Diseases
  • Corn and soybean growth stages
  • Sprayer technology
  • Forages
  • Basic agronomy
Teams that sign up will receive a packet of resources such as field guides, publications, and presentations to help prepare. If you know youth that might be interested, encourage them to sign-up a team.

If you are interested in coaching a team, or assisting with or sponsoring the crop scouting competition, please contact Brian McNeill at or 320-589-1711 ext 2131.
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