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TAPS competition announced for 2021

Curt Arens A man examining an ear of corn
NEW YEAR: The Testing Ag Performance Solutions, or TAPS, program looks at new and emerging technologies through team competitions for corn and sorghum.
There are a few changes from last year in the contest of crop management and marketing skill.

The Testing Ag Performance Solutions program facilitates and nurtures growth, understanding and change in behavior across many generations by initiating the adoption and creation of new and emerging technologies, methods and practices through friendly farm management competitions. The program is making plans and looking for people with interest in participating in the 2021 competitions. 

The upcoming season will be similar to past years, including a sprinkler irrigated corn competition and a subsurface drip irrigated corn competition, as well as a sorghum competition. After three years of hosting an irrigated sorghum contest, the TAPS team has decided to modify the competition to include both irrigated and dryland components. 

The dryland portion of the sorghum competition will be held on a dryland field near the West Central Research, Extension & Education Center at North Platte. The irrigated portion will be located on a linear irrigation system at WCREEC near the SDI and pivot corn competitions. 

The same experimental design as previous years will be used with all competitions, with three replications in a randomized block design. The competitors will make management decisions on insurance, hybrid, seeding rate, nitrogen, irrigation and marketing.

In the sorghum competition, the participants won’t make irrigation decisions because of the lack of variable-rate equipment on the linear system. Instead, all irrigated plots will receive full irrigation according to University of Nebraska discretion. This will continue to provide a baseline for irrigated sorghum yields in the area. 

The TAPS team is working to confirm new and emerging technology, as well as technology that participants have used in previous years. All competitions will have access to edge-of-field weather station data, and the team plans to collect more data in 2021 through drone technology. 

With the change to the sorghum competition, the technology offered to participants in the combination contest will vary from previous years. There will not be a soil moisture sensor placed in each team’s plot.

However, a soil moisture sensor will be placed in a representative area to give participants information to help them estimate the dryland yield and market the dryland portion of the competition. Data also will be provided by drone and aerial technology. 

If you or anyone you know has interest in participating in the TAPS competitions in 2021, email krystle.rhoades@unl.edu before Feb. 15.

Source: UNL CropWatch, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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