You can participate in the Hackathon competition as a Graduate Student Team of two to four members.


Developing accurate N recommendations for corn remains a challenge because of the many uncertainties related to weather patterns and potential interactions between soil properties and crop management, all of which collectively affect the total N supply. Solving this challenging problem requires skills in cleaning, analyzing, and distilling information from large datasets into sound agronomic decisions.

For this competition, university teams (2 to 4 students/team) will have 15 days just prior to the workshop to develop a new model for predicting the Economic Optimum N rate (EONR) and yield at the EONR using a dataset common to all teams. Your tool will be evaluated based on soil and crop science, accuracy, and commercial feasibility. You will be judged by those at the workshop. Teams are encouraged to think creatively; fresh, new ideas that hold to known scientific principles will be given higher scores.


  • Participants are expected to follow an honor system. This includes not asking for or receiving help outside the team (e.g., graduate student advisors, professors, or other students).
  • External data can be obtained if it is publicly available and cited in your presentation (e.g., weather, SSURGO, Google images, or county yield information). However, external data that is not freely available to everyone is not permitted (e.g., paid satellite imagery).
  • This data may only be used for the purpose of this contest. This data must not be used in publications, educational material, or other analyses.
  • Privately sharing code or data outside of teams is not permitted.
  • Each participant will need to sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to the start of the competition.

How to Participate

Review the Hackathon section with all the details of the competition. Feel free to contact the organizer for any clarification. Complete the Data Hackathon registration form. You can also participate in the poster competition (individual competition). Each member of the team needs to register for the Hackathon.

Informative Meeting July 18

A meeting will be conducted on July 18 with all Graduate Students interested in participating in the competition. At least one member per group must attend this meeting. You can drop your participation after the informative meeting.

Following the meeting, each group will receive an email with the instructions and the dataset to complete the task.

During the event: Details for Oral Presentations

Each group will have the chance to present their results in a 10-minute presentation in the main auditorium. A slide presentation can be used as support. Participants must share their results and the approach (key steps) to achieve them.

Hackathon Awards

The judges will select three groups to receive an award (1st $400, 2nd $300, 3rd $200). The hackathon competition winners* will be announced on Aug. 7 at 11:15 a.m.  

*One member per team will be asked to complete the paperwork needed before leaving the conference to receive their award check.

Registration is limited to the first six teams.