Soybeans to be Newest Nebraska TAPS Competition in 2024

Closeup of soybean field
The UNL TAPS team is looking for people interested in participating in the inaugural year of the soybean competition. If interested, contact TAPS Program Manager Krystle Rhoades.

Soybeans to be Newest Nebraska TAPS Competition in 2024

Although Nebraska is best known for the commodities of cattle and corn, soybeans land in the third-place spot among the top commodity rankings in the state, according to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is adding soybean to the lineup of Testing Ag Performance Solutions (TAPS) farm management competitions for 2024. The new soybean competition will be facilitated at UNL’s Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center (ENREEC) near Mead, Nebraska. The soybean competition will be supported by the Nebraska Soybean Board.

TAPS launched in 2017 at the University of Nebraska’s West Central Research, Extension and Education Center (WCREEC) in North Platte, Nebraska, with a single competition in sprinkler irrigated corn. Since the inception, competitions in subsurface drip irrigated corn, sorghum and popcorn were added to the WCREEC lineup.

Chuck Burr, Nebraska Extension educator and TAPS team member, said he is looking forward to adding soybeans to the TAPS farm management competitions offered in Nebraska.

“Previous TAPS participants have indicated that they are adopting new technology and management strategies on their farms as a result of participating in TAPS, and the soybean industry has made great strides in these areas the past 15 to 20 years,” Burr said. “We are excited to help take that to the next level with the new TAPS competition.”

Participants in the soybean competition will decide several farm management components, just as they would on an actual soybean operation. The TAPS decisions may include crop insurance, variety selection/seed treatment, seeding rate, planting date, fungicide/insecticide/micronutrients, herbicide post decisions and marketing. These decisions will be imposed on the teams’ randomized plots within the field at ENREEC. Due to limitations of the irrigation equipment in 2024, the competition will not include irrigation decisions for participants, but will be fully irrigated at the discretion of the UNL team.

Participants will be given the opportunity to test a wide range of ag management technologies and utilize a plethora of data throughout the growing season.

Similar to other TAPS competitions, the soybean competitors will compete for three awards, which include greatest grain yield, highest input-use efficiency and most profitable.

“We look forward to highlighting information learned by the TAPS soybean competition participants as part of the Soybean Management Field Days, which will be a new aspect to the field days which have been around for 25 years,” said Aaron Nygren, Nebaska Extension educator and TAPS team member.

The TAPS team is looking for people interested in participating in the inaugural year of the soybean competition. We are looking for participants from each of the eight Nebraska Soybean Board districts. If you, or someone you may know, is interested, please contact Krystle Rhoades, TAPS program manager.

Online Master of Science in Agronomy

With a focus on industry applications and research, the online program is designed with maximum flexibility for today's working professionals.

A field of corn.