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.
In order for a chapter to qualify as a team at Districts and thus compete at State Convention, the chapter must have at least two FFA members compete in the event at District.
See “Eligibility” on pages 13-14.
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. These lists can be found in this section of Activities & Awards.
The team component will consist of a problem from two areas, which will rotate each year.
1. Four members will make up a team.
2. All four scores will be included in the team total.
3. Participants will be assigned to a group. The group leader will escort them through the various rotations. Each participant must stay with the assigned group leader throughout the event.
4. Tampering with or destruction of contest materials will result in elimination from the contest.
1. Team Activity – 750 points – rotate every other year
a. Cropping Systems (even years)
i. Teams will be asked to analyze a producers production records and develop a cropping system for the producer.
ii. Consideration of harvesting and marketing practices will be analyzed by contestants for each team to make recommendations for improvement.
iii. Problem may also include questions relating to crop marketing and economics using future and options.
b. Range (odd years)
i. 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.
ii. Analyzing grazing rotations, management plans, and plant growth are possible areas that this team problem can cover.
iii. Range materials and worksheets will come from the current year’s Montana Range Days publications.
2. Individual Activities – 100 points each – every year
a. General Knowledge Test
i. 50 objective, multiple choice questions from Montana Ag Ed Curriculum materials.
b. Identification of weed, crops, seeds, and their products.
c. Soils and Irrigation
i. Identify various soil samples as listed in the current year’s Montana Range Days “Soil Texture Field Key” (also available from local NRCS offices).
ii. Identify soil capability classes as outlined by the Soils CDE guide, on page 36-40 of this Activities & Awards document.
d. Crop Evaluation, Harvesting, Marketing
i. Evaluate two classes of crop samples, one of Montana forage and one of a major Montana crop.
ii. Each class will consist of four samples of the same crop seed.
iii. Participants will rank each class and place them. Scoring will be done with a Hormel card.
e. Range Management
i. Participants will be required to calculate range condition and stocking rate using the current year’s Montana Range Days Plant List. This is found on page 34-36.
ii. The “Accepted Historic Similarity Index” will be provided in the contest.
3. Individual Activities – rotate every other year – 100 points each
a. Seed Analysis (odd years)
i. A maximum of four samples will be analyzed
ii. The samples will be selected from
iii. Contestants will not be allowed to touch the samples except with the tools provided, which could include flat sided sticks, forceps, or magnifying glasses.
iv. Admixtures will be named according to their common name as listed in the Weed, Crop, and Seeds Identification List on page 32-33_.
v. Contestants must classify all seeds mixed with the base sample as either crop (and/or crop variety) or weeds.
vi. No less than two and no more than four seeds of any impurity will be added to the base sample.
vii. All base and admixture seeds will be mature samples.
viii. See specific rules for each crop in the National FFA CDE Handbook.
b. Fertilizer (odd years)
i. 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.
ii. Practicum related to determining fertilizer mixtures and appropriateness of a fertilizer for various crops are also allowed.
c. Insects (odd years)
i. Ten samples will be identified according to insect name, life cycle, economic impact, and mouthpart.
ii. Insects that are eligible for consideration are listed on page 33.
iii. The answer sheet will be the accepted sheet used in the current year’s national CDE.
d. Grain Grading (even years)
i. Participants will determine the grade of wheat or barley.
ii. Grain grading will be done in accordance with the official U.S. Standards for Grain as outlined by the USDA.
iii. At least two samples will be graded.
iv. Participants will be given a base sample to determine the class and/or subclass.
v. Refer to the National FFA CDE Handbook for Agronomy for further explanation.
e. Herbicide & Pesticide (even years)
i. Participants will be given herbicide and/or pesticide labels and will be required to calculate proper tank mixtures and application procedures.
ii. Participants may also be asked to identify proper safety procedures and determine the chemical’s active ingredient(s).
f. Disorders (even years)
i. Ten samples will be identified according to name, cause, and damage of disorder of Montana-approved diseases and disorders as listed below.
ii. Possible causing agents:
iii. Possible damages will include:
1. Destruction of fruit or flower
2. Destruction of vegetative parts
3. Blockage of vascular bundles
Participant scores are the sum of the individual areas of the event, and team scores are the sum of the four participant scores plus the team activity.
Team ties will be broken first with the team activity. If a tie remains, then the total team points on the written exam will be used.
Individual ties will be broken using the written test first. If a tie remains, plant/seed ID will be used next.
Team and individual awards as addressed on page 15.
1. Weeds, Crops, and Seeds Identification List (Page 32-33)
2. Insect identification List (Page 33)
3. Montana Range Plant List (Page 34-36)
4. Soils Judging Guide (Page 36-40)
5. The following units from the curriculum: Plant Growth and Development,
Range Management, Crop Production, Water Quality and Quantity,
Horticulture, Pests and Diseases, Soils and Land use, Land Description,
Horticulture/Floriculture, Water, Crops
Go here… Download the guide and find “Agronomy CDE” in the index. GO there for more information and study materials.
- Montana FFA Awards and Activities Guide
This bulletin is designed to supply ready information about the many awards and activities sponsored by the Montana FFA Association, the Montana FFA Foundation, and the National FFA Foundation, as well as other organizations and businesses.Download the Guide (1.5MB PDF)