TAPS Program Celebrates Winners of Sixth Annual Competition

TAPS Program Celebrates Winners of Sixth Annual Competition

The Testing Ag Performance Solutions (TAPS) awards ceremony culminated the program’s sixth year of farm management competitions on Jan. 14. The TAPS program was created by University of Nebraska educators and specialists as an innovative way of connecting producers to industry professionals and offering a way of testing out new, advancing technologies through farm management competitions facilitated in North Platte, Nebraska, at the West Central Research, Extension and Education Center.

The event was a night of interaction and celebration of the 2022 competitions, which included sorghum, subsurface drip irrigated (SDI) corn and sprinkler irrigated corn. The participants in each competition make their own individual input decisions for their plots on the same field as competitors. These decisions include crop insurance, hybrid and seeding rate, nitrogen timing and amount, irrigation timing and amount, and, lastly, marketing of their crop.

Awards are given in each competition for greatest grain yield, highest input use efficiency and most profitable. These designations come with a cash prize, along with a plaque, oversized check and personalized TAPS apparel item.


The sorghum contest, in its fifth year, included both a dryland and irrigated portion, and involved 18 teams. Tracy Zink of Indianola, Nebraska, earned all three of the top honors for yield, efficiency and profitability.

Tracy Zink
Figure 1. Tracy Zink, left, receives honors for placing first in yield, efficiency and profitability in the 2022 sorghum contest from Nebraska Extension WICS Program Leader Daran Rudnick.

SDI Corn

In the fourth year of the SDI corn competition, 16 teams competed. The award winners in the SDI competition included: 

  • Greatest Yield — Lorn Dizmang of Dizmang Ag in Moorefield, Nebraska.
  • Highest Input Use Efficiency  Tri-Basin Water Watchers from the Holdrege, Nebraska, area. Pat Nott, Chris Ecklun, Reed Philips, Rick Reinsch, Logan Reed, Darrin Swanson and Curtis Scheele made up the Tri-Basin Water Watchers team.
  • Most Profitable The Rattlesnake Boys from Wood River, Nebraska.  The Rattlesnake Boys team consisted of Kevin and Amy Harsch, Jay Johnson and Jeremy Gewecke.

Sprinkler Corn

The sixth year of the sprinkler corn competition had 33 teams participate.

  • Greatest Yield — Luke Olson of McCook, Nebraska.
  • Highest Input Use Efficiency — Shawn Woollen of Wilcox, Nebraska.
  • Most Profitable — The Perkins Group team from the Grant, Nebraska. The team was made up of Brent Gloy, Bruce Young, Curt Richmond, Jeremy Hagan, Nick Turner, Pat McGreer, Shawn Turner, Ted Tietjen and Troy Kemling.
Shawn Woollen
Figure 2. Shawn Woollen, left, is congratulated by Nebraska Extension Educator Chuck Burr as winner of Highest Input Use Efficiency in the 2022 sprinkler corn competition.

Outstanding TAPS Advocate

The last award presented was the Outstanding TAPS Advocate, which honors an organization, person or business that went above and beyond in supporting the UNL-TAPS program. This year, the award recipient was Amy Kremen of Boulder, Colorado. Kremen has advocated for the TAPS program since its inception by recruiting participants, assisting with funding proposals, promoting partnership and aiding in starting new TAPS competitions in other states.

The full 2022 TAPS Competition Report can be found online.

The TAPS program would like to thank all the sponsors, supporters and participants for being a part of and making the program a continued success.

The 2023 TAPS competitions are already in planning. Anyone interested in the program can email Krystle Rhoades, TAPS program manager.

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