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TAPS hosts 2020 growing season awards virtually

TAPS hosts 2020 growing season awards virtually

NORTH PLATTE, Nebr., –The Testing Ag Performance Solutions (TAPS) awards ceremony was held virtually on Saturday, January 16, due to continuing Covid-19 restrictions. The TAPS program was created by University of Nebraska educators and specialists four years ago, 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 at the West Central Research, Extension, and Education Center. The 2020 participants were honored Saturday evening with a number of awards.

The sprinkler irrigated sorghum contest, in its third year, had 12 teams. The award winners were as follows: Greatest Yield was won by Marc Rasmussen of Cambridge, NE; the Highest Input Use Efficiency award went to Scott Jewett of Holdrege, NE; and Paul Hoyt of Culbertson, NE took home the highest recognition of Most Profitable.

In the second year of the subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) corn competition, 16 teams competed. The award winners in the SDI competition included: Lorn Dizmang of Dizmang Ag of Moorefield, NE receiving the Greatest Yield award; the Tri-Basin Water Watchers team of Holdrege, NE won the Highest Input Use Efficiency accolade; and the Rattlesnake Boys from Wood River, NE won the top award for Most Profitable. The Tri-Basin Water Watchers team included Pat Nott, Chris Ecklun, Reed Philips, Rick
Reinsch, and Curtis Scheele. The Rattlesnake Boys team consisted of Kevin & Amy Harsch, Jay Johnson, and Jeremy Gewecke.

The fourth year of the sprinkler corn competition had 27 teams participate. The Greatest Yield award was presented to Mark McConnell of Paxton, NE. The M&M’s team of York, NE, which included Ron Makovicka, Jenny Rees, Jerry Stahr, and Stuart Spader, earned the Highest Input Use Efficiency award. Mark McConnel won the top award for Most Profitable, as well.

The last award presented was for the Outstanding TAPS Advocate, which was started last year to honor an organization, person, or business that went above and beyond in supporting the UNL-TAPS program. This year, the award recipients was Tyler Harris with the Nebraska Farmer.

The full recording of the awards ceremony, and/or a presentation of the data, can both be found at and search for TAPS. The TAPS program would like to thank all the sponsors, supporters, and competitors for being a part of and making the program a continued success. The plans are already in process for the 2021 TAPS competitions.

Anyone interested in participating in the 2021 TAPS competitions can email Krystle Rhoades, TAPS
Program Manager, at

You can follow the TAPS program through the growing season by revisiting the 2020 Friday’s in the Field:

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