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Department of Agronomy

Department of Agronomy
Kansas State University
2004 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506-0110

Ph: +1-785-532-6101
Fx: +1-785-532-6094

2020 Willie & the Beanstalk Competition (Updated due to COVID-19)

The 13th annual Willie and the Beanstalk Competition will NOT be held on April 18, 2020 as previously announced because the K-State Open House has been cancelled.  Furthermore, the university is on limited operation status, which limits our ability to run the contest.  Please read below regarding the modifications to the contest. 

2020 Contest Results

Contest Rules

Rules for growing plants, recording documentation, start date and end date will all stay the same. See complete contest rules  HERE.  


  • Documentation must be sent by e-mail as a single pdf document for each team to beanstalk@ksu.edu.  Please use the following format for the name of the documentation files "Adviser Name_Team Name.pdf" Documentation will not be accepted by fax or file share. We suggest one of the following methods:
  • Judging of plant growth will be done locally (or by the students in their homes with parents to certify accuracy) in only two categories:
    • Tallest plant - measure plant height in cm from the base of the plant (soil surface) to the top of the stem.
    • Number of fully developed trifoliolates (will replace biomass) - count the number of trifoliates (do not count individual leaflets and do not count unifoliates or cotyledons (instructions here)
    • Largest leaf - measure the leaf area of the largest trifoliate using the graph paper method (instructions here)
  • Send the plant height (cm), number of trifoliolates, and leaf area (cm2) to beanstalk@ksu.edu with the adviser name, team name, and names of team members.
  • Awards will be given for the following categories
    • Best Documentation
    • Tallest Plant
    • Most Trifoliolates
    • Largest Trifoliolate
    • Grand Champion (lowest combined rank for all four categories)

Registration is now CLOSED

Important dates:

  • Documentation submission deadline is Friday April 10, 2020.

  • Soybean judging will be done by students at home as described above.  Judging should be done on Saturday, April 18, 2020.  It can be done earlier, but not later.  Results of the at-home judging need to be submitted to beanstalk@ksu.edu by midnight on April 18.  

T-Shirt update

Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide participants with t-shirts. 

With limited operations at the university we do not have the ability to order, receive, or ship t-shirts out to students.

For more information, email beanstalk@ksu.edu

Contact Us

Dr. Nathan Nelson
Professor of Agronomy

Kansas State University
2708 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-5115
Fx: +1-785-532-6094

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Kansas Soybean Commission