Lana Koepke Johnson | Agronomy and Horticulture
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Crops Judging Team competed in the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Judging Contest March 31 – April 2 in North Platte, Nebraska.
Korbin Kudera made Husker history and became the first Nebraska agronomy student to earn first-place individual overall in both the crops contest and the precision agriculture contest. He also earned high score and Individual Champion for the Agronomic Knowledge Exam and Lab Practical in the Crops Contest and for the Knowledge Exam and Lab practical in the Precision Agriculture Contest.
The Husker team placed third overall in the four-year college division in both the crops contest and the precision agriculture contest. Nebraska's winning team includes senior agronomy majors Nathan Donoghue, Katie Steffen, Sarina Janssen and Kudera.
Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis hosted the national event with support from the West Central Research and Extension Center. 40 two-year and four-year colleges and universities from across the United States attended.
Designed to prepare students for a future career in agronomy, the crops judging contest includes four segments. These include an agronomic exam, a math exam, a plant and seed identification exam, and a lab practical. The agronomic exam covers general agronomic knowledge of new and past political and agronomic products and innovations. The math exam covers mathematical problems related to agronomy. The lab practical includes questions on various agronomy related disciplines such as weed science, entomology and plant pathology. The plant and seed identification exam tests knowledge of 140 crops and weeds species.
The Precision Agriculture Contest is divided into four areas including general knowledge exam, a lab practical, problem solving of mathematical and field scenarios, and component identification from chemical application, planting and harvesting equipment. The knowledge exam covers global positioning systems and guidance, yield monitoring systems, remote sensing and sensors, grid soil sampling and soil sensors, variable-rate application, site-specific management, remote monitoring and controls, geographic information system software, and irrigation controls and sensors. The lab practical evaluates the same general knowledge as in the exam but includes photos, tools and other resources with each question.
Problem solving includes mathematical problems related to precision management of crop inputs such as irrigation, fertilizer, seeds and pesticides, the interpretation and analysis of remote sensing maps, yield maps, grid soil sampling maps and other site-specific management decisions, the calibration of equipment, and scenarios and mathematical problems in crop harvest, handling and storage.
The equipment identification exam includes questions on equipment such as grain combine, forage harvester, swather, baler, liquid chemical applicator, dry chemical applicator, or seeding equipment, or any component that adds precision and efficiency to the equipment and operation.
The team also had the opportunity to tour the University of Nebraska West Central Research and Extension Center and learn about the TAPS Summer Event, current entomology research at WCREC and the Pesticide Application Technology Laboratory.
For more information about Nebraska’s Crops Judging Team see https://agronomy.unl.edu/crops-judging-team.