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School Test Plot

Question asked by Lezlie Durst on Nov 3, 2015
Latest reply on Feb 11, 2016 by Lezlie Durst

Our school district has recently been given a very exciting opportunity to utilize approximately 9 acres to raise funds for the FFA chapters. This is tillable land located about 6 miles from the school. We are currently not interested in setting up any barns or raising livestock but want to focus more on agronomy opportunities for our students. We are located in Northeast Missouri and grow mainly Corn and Soybeans in our region.  Here is the information I am looking for: * Best practices: what has worked well for you school * Things to avoid: what can cause problems * Would you suggest traditional crops (corn/soybeans) or more non-traditional (popcorn, pumpkins, ...) * Has anyone worked with a seed company to plant the area as a test plot and the chapter receive the funds? * What are things to have in an agreement ahead of time: cost, labor, volunteers, time frame... * Do you have parents volunteer to help plant and harvest the crop? If so how does this work? * How successful are you at having students help with the project or do parents just do the work? * How are you able to tie the project back to the classroom? * Do you have worksheets you are willing to share? * How good are students at selecting varieties? * Would you break the land into smaller units so classes could compete or just plant it all the same? * Are there risks with this type of project? * How much extra time does it take for the instructor to over see the project?