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Agronomy

Purpose:

To stimulate student involvement in plant and range science career areas and to provide additional incentives for FFA members to develop problem solving skills in the area of agronomy.

Procedure:

The state Agronomy Contest will follow the rules and guidelines as published in the National Career Development Event Handbook to the extent they pertain to Montana crops. Special plant, crop, and insect lists that are specific for Montana will be used in place of the National FFA Agronomy lists. The team component will consist of a problem arriving from two areas, which will rotate each year.

Team Component Areas – 300 Points

  1. Cropping Systems – The team will be asked to analyze a producers production records and develop a cropping system for the producer. Consideration of harvesting and marketing practices will be analyzed by contestants for each team to make recommendations for improvement. Problem may also include questions relating to crop marketing and economics using future and options. Even years.
  2. Range – This area will consist of a range scenario requiring teams to develop a range management plan using their knowledge in calculating range similarity indexes and their understanding of range trends. Analyzing grazing rotations, management plans, and plant growth are possible areas that this team problem can cover. Range materials and worksheets will come from the current year’s Montana Range Days publications. Odd years.

Individual Component Areas will include – 500 points (100 ea)

  1. General Knowledge Test
    ·50 objective multiple choice questions from Montana Ag Ed Curriculum materials
  2. Identification of weed, crops, seeds, and their products.
    ·As listed below in this document
  3. Soils and Irrigation
    ·Identify various soil samples as listed in the current year’s Montana Range Days, Soil Texture Field Key (also available from local NRCS offices)
    ·Identify soil capability classes as outlined by the Soils CDE guide in the Montana Activities and Awards Guidelines
  4. Crop Evaluation, Harvesting, Marketing
    ·Contestants will evaluate two classes of crop samples, one of Montana forage and one of a major Montana crop. Each class will consist of four samples of the same crop seed. Participants will rank each class and place them. Scoring will be done with a Hormel card.
  5. Range Management
    ·Participants will be required to calculate range condition and stocking rate using the current year’s Montana Range Days Similarity Index Worksheet.
    ·Accepted Historic Similarity Index, this index will be provided in the contest.

Rotational Practicum’s – 300 points (100 ea)

Odd Years

  1. Seed Analysis
    • A maximum of four samples will be analyzed
    • The samples will be selected from
      • Alfalfa
      • Barley
      • Wheat
      • Oats
      • Soybeans
      • Corn
    • Contestants will not be allowed to touch the samples except with the tools provided, example of tools
      • Flat sided sticks
      • Forceps
      • Magnifying glass
    • Admixtures will be named according to their common name as in the approved Montana Seed Identification list as listed below.
    • Contestants must classify all seeds mixed with the base sample as either crop (and or crop variety) or weeds
    • No less than two and no more than four seeds of any impurity will be added to the base sample.
    • All base and admixture seeds will be mature samples
    • See specific rules for each crop in the National FFA CDE Handbook
  2. Fertilizer
    • Contestants will be tested on their knowledge of fertilizers with various fertilizer problems centered on determining the amount of N, P, and K available in a soil sample and amount needed in a hypothetical growing or yet-to-be-planted crop.
    • Practicum related to determining fertilizer mixtures and appropriateness of a fertilizer for various crops are also allowed.
  3. Insects
    • Ten samples will be identified according to insect name, life cycle, economic impact, and mouthpart.
    • Insects that are eligible for consideration are listed below.
    • The answer sheet will be the accepted sheet used in the current year’s national CDE.

Even Years

  1. Grain Grading
    • Participants will determine the grade of wheat.
    • Grain grading will be done in accordance with the official U.S. Standards for Grain as outlined by the USDA.
    • At least two samples will be graded.
    • Participants will be given a base sample to determine the class and/or subclass.
    • Refer to the National FFA CDE Handbook for Agronomy for further explanation.
  2. Herbicide & Pesticide
    • Participants will be given herbicide and/or pesticide labels and will be required to calculate proper tank mixtures and application procedures. Participants may also be asked to identify proper safety procedures and determine the chemical’s active ingredient(s).
  3. Disorders
    • Ten samples will be identified according to name, cause, and damage of disorder of Montana approved diseases and disorders as listed below
    • Possible causing agents will be from the list below
      • Bacteria
      • Fungi
      • Virus
      • Nutritional
      • Mechanical
      • Cultural
      • Nematodes
    • Possible damages will include
      • Destruction of fruit or flower
      • Destruction of vegetative parts
      • Blockage of vascular bundles
      • None