The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Crops Judging team is an extracurricular, intercollegiate contest team which competes at both regional and national Crops Judging contests. These contests are hosted in association with the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) organization and the Students of Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences (SASES) program.
Contests are comprised of four components, with each component lasting an hour.
- Agronomic Exam: A comprehensive, 75 question multiple-choice exam covering general agronomic knowledge. Both general and specific questions will be asked on production of major US grain and forage crops.
- Math Practical: An exam covering mathematical problems related to agronomy, calibration, and general “ag math”.
- Lab Practical: A 75 question exam comprised of photos or samples of plant materials, fertilizers, pesticides, seed samples, data tables, equipment, insects, diseases, etc. along with specific questions which will require identification, interpretation, calculation, or evaluation of the display material to answer correctly. These stations will represent activities commonly completed in laboratories or field trips in crop production and soil management courses.
- Crop/Weed Plant & Seed Identification: A 75 question exam comprising of 75 specimens, pulled from an approved list. Specimens can range from seeds to physiological maturity or vegetative stages.
How do we train for contests?
To be eligible to be selected for the traveling Crops Judging team, students are required to enroll in a two-credit course offered by the head coach, Adam Striegel in the spring. This course (AGRO 496-004) is offered in both the spring and fall semesters, with the fall semester (one credit) focusing on plant and seed identification and agronomic math while the spring semester (two credits) focusing primarily on whole-contest preparation.
Where do we compete?
Each year, the UNL Crops team travels to two regional spring contests as well as two national (spring and fall) contests. These contests move around from university to university each year. Historic contest organizers include:
- 2018- Kansas State University, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
- 2017- Iowa State University, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture
- 2016- Iowa State University, Kansas State University
- 2018- Northeast Community College (NE), National SASES (Baltimore, MD)
- 2017- Kansas State University, National SASES (Tampa, FL)
- 2016- University of Minnesota-Crookston, National SASES (Minneapolis, MN)
Why do we compete in these contests?
Crops Judging contests serve as amazing cross-disciplinary opportunities to both learn and showcase relevant agronomic knowledge and skills. Through preparation and participating in these contests, students develop a broad knowledge basis and hone their agronomic problem-solving abilities with these contests pulling many questions and components from professional accreditation programs such as the Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) program.
Want to learn and compete? Join us!
If you are a student majoring or minoring in Agronomy, with at least a sophomore status we welcome to join our class in the fall semester, which allows students to learn the crop and weed species as well as get a background in the agronomic mathematics before joining the rigorous and fast-paced spring semester.
Doctor of Plant Health and agronomy graduate student