The Testing Ag Performance Solutions farm management competition got its start in 2017 as a competition that emphasizes profitability and input-use efficiency before yield. In each year since the first competition, a new competition has been added.
In 2017, the contest consisted of a center pivot-irrigated corn competition. In 2018, a pivot-irrigated grain sorghum competition was added, followed by a subsurface drip-irrigated corn competition in 2019.
In the latest Down in the Weeds, Daran Rudnick, Nebraska Extension water management specialist, sits down with Nebraska Farmer to discuss key takeaways from the 2019 TAPS competitions.
"The sprinkler corn competition actually is our longest-running, so it's been going on for three years," Rudnick says. "It actually increased its number of participants. We went to 24 teams in competition, so it was much more difficult to take home the top prize.
"One of the unique things that was a little different between the SDI corn and the sprinkler corn was the interval that we allowed for irrigating. In sprinkler corn, we allowed irrigation twice a week. So Mondays and Thursdays, they had to indicate whether they wanted water by 10 o'clock in the morning. And they could go anywhere from 0 to 1 inch.
"With SDI, because that system tends to be a little more flexible for management, we allowed it to be four times a week and up to half an inch applied, and they had to let us know by 8 o'clock on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday."