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Money on line with new crops skills contest at HHD

Test your knowledge in weeds, insects and grain marketing at the TAPS Crops Skills Competition.

Curt Arens, Editor, Nebraska Farmer

August 9, 2022

2 Min Read
Farmer looking at ear of corn
MONEY ON THE LINE: See how your crop production skills match up in the TAPS Crops Skills Competition, hosted by the UNL TAPS team. The contests take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day of the show.Curt Arens

This year, Husker Harvest Days attendees will have a chance to test their crop production management skills at the TAPS Crops Skills Competition.

This new event pits participants against each other, not only in physical farm skills, but also in crop management.

While the individual events haven’t been announced yet, Krystle Rhoades, program manager for Testing Ag Performance Solutions at the University of Nebraska, says some events may include:

  • insect and weed identification

  • siphon tube setting

  • grain marketing

  • corn grain moisture or yield estimates

  • tractor tire flipping

The event will take place each day of the show, Sept. 13-15, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The number of participants in each round will be limited to 50, with a special session planned at 10 a.m. Sept. 14 just for FFA chapter teams of four students each.

Farmers interested in participating in this new HHD event can register online ahead of the show at, or they can register the day of the show if there is still room in the competition.

Chance to win money

Those that accept the challenge aren’t just competing for bragging rights over their neighbors. You can win prize money in the form of a Visa gift card:

  • $250 for first place

  • $150 for second

  • $100 for third

TAPS is an innovative, interactive competitive program developed by UNL and Nebraska Extension to bring together producers, Extension researchers and scientists, industry leaders, ag students, and educators as part of a highly engaged, competitive network, focused on input-use efficiency and profitability in crop production.

The UNL TAPS team, along with other Nebraska Extension educators and specialists from the Water and Integrated Cropping Systems hub, are hosting the event for the first time at Husker Harvest Days.

TAPS has held similar events as part of the program’s annual summer field day at West Central Research, Extension and Education Center at North Platte.

How do your cropping skills match up? This contest is one way to find out, and perhaps put some money in your pocket at the same time.

“This will be an excellent opportunity to have some fun, learn a few things, and rub shoulders with some current and former TAPS participants, who will be in attendance,” says Chuck Burr, a TAPS team member and a Nebraska Extension water and cropping systems educator.

The competition takes place on Eighth Street near the UNL and Nebraska Extension building. For more information, visit

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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