2017 Topic Area - Wheat and Small Grains


The purpose is to create interest and promote understanding in agronomy by providing opportunities for recognition through the demonstration of skills and proficiencies.


  1. To demonstrate basic knowledge of agronomic sciences.
  2. To determine the ability to identify agronomic: Crops, Weeds, Seeds, Insects, Diseases, Plant Nutrient Deficiencies, Plant Disorders, Soil Management, and Equipment.
  3. To evaluate a scenario and develop a crop management plan including crop selection, production and marketing.


Adam Striegel
202E Keim Hall
Lincoln, NE 68583-0915

Event Information

State Rules:

All contestants will participate in the identification of crop and weed plants and seeds, insects, plant diseases, farm machinery, and soil properties.

1. Team make-up:

  1. Team size shall be four members, all of whom must be pre-registered as 'participant' or 'substitute' by their FFA sponsor.
  2. All four team members will be scored and all 4 scores shall count towards the team total.
  3. All four team members are eligible for individual awards.

2. Written Material: All written materials will be furnished for the event. No written materials shall be removed from the site.
3. Each participant must have two sharpened No. 2 pencils, and a calculator for basic arithmetic. NO CELL PHONES OR CELL PHONE CALCULATORS ARE ALLOWED.
4. All National FFA Contest general rules will apply to this event.

National Rules:

Any rules not specified here are governed by rules for the National FFA Agronomy CDE.


A. Team Activity:

Each team will be given a field scenario with all necessary reference information and mathematical formulas to answer ten to twenty multiple choice questions requiring application of basic agronomic principles and practices.

Topic areas for the Team Activity will rotate on a yearly basis through the following:

  • Wheat and Small Grains (2017)
  • Corn-Soybean Cropping Systems (2016)
  • Alternative Crops (e.g. Dry Beans, Potato, Sugar Beet, Oilseeds, etc.)(2015)
  • Rangeland and Forage Production (2014)

B. Individual Activity
Contestants will answer all questions on standard multiple choice bubble cards using a No. 2 Pencil.

1. Crop and Weed Identification

  1. Contestants will identify weed and crop plants and/or seeds.
  2. Contestants will Identify specimens by common name, and life cycle.
  3. Plants may be in any stage following emergence.
  4. Samples will be identified on a multiple choice basis.
  5. Each specimen may also have a question concerning uses (crops) or common problem areas it is associated with (weeds, insects, diseases)
  6. List of possible specimens is included at the end of these rules.

2. Insect Identification

  1. Contestants will be asked to identify 10 to 20 insect specimens by common name, life cycle, and economic impact or management.
  2. A list of possible specimens is included at the end of these rules
  3. Samples will be identified on a multiple choice basis.

3. Plant Diseases and Disorders

  1. Contestants will be asked to identify 10 to 20 common plant diseases, conditions, or disorders.
  2. Additional questions will cover disease/condition cause, what damage it causes, and its' economic impact or management.
  3. Samples will be identified on a multiple choice basis.
  4. A list of possible Disorders/Diseases and Conditions is included at the end of the rules.

4. Soils

  1. Contestants will analyze common problems related to soil properties, soil fertility, soil nutrient management, and land use in agricultural settings.
  2. Additional questions will be created from information contained in the document:
  3. "SOIL and WATER RESOURCES." Please check additional postings/Links for this document.

5. Machinery

  1. Identify Machinery commonly used in Agronomic Production
  2. Describe uses and applications of common machines
  3. Samples will be identified on a multiple choice basis.
  4. List of possible machinery is included in the 'Specimen List' document linked below.

Required Supplies

  • Two No. 2 pencils- bring your own or one may be purchased at the site for $1 each.
  • A calculator for basic arithmetic - no cell phone calculators are allowed.


a. Plant & Seed ID=2 points/plant or seed
b. Plant & Seed Life Cycle=1 point
c. Insect ID=2 points/insect
d. Insect LC=1 point
e. Insect Damage=1 point
f. Disease ID=2 points/disease
g. Disease Cause=1 point
h. Disease Damage=1 point
i. Soils=1 point, unless determined by Director to need additional points for a question.
j. Machinery ID=1 point/machinery

Team Activity  10 to 20 Points, varies with year

Individual Exam - 200 Points.  Will be changing as new scoring system is implemented in 2015.
Individual Score:  exam

Overall Team Score:  individual scores + team activity


Team Total Score:  In the event of a tie, tie-breakers will be determined by:
1. Team Activity Score
2. Highest Individual Score
3. 2nd Highest Individual Score, etc.

Individual Activity Score:  In the event of a tie, tie-breakers will be determined by:
1. Team Activity Score
2. Score on "Soils" Section of Individual Test
3. Overall Team Score


References/Study Information

The following resources will also be used for the Soils Section of the Agronomy CDE:
From the Surface Down: Surface Down pdf
UNL Soils Home Study Course:

Study Information:
All event items relating to soil are drawn from this document Soil and Water Resources 
Example images for all plant and seed specimens can be obtained through internet search. Suggested Sites: Google Images... more TBA
Machinery Identification List

Example Test/Event Items:
Agronomy CDE Specimen List
CDE Specimen Groups - Specimen List used for Contestant Answers on some sections