The UNL-TAPS (Testing Ag Performance Solutions) Program has gained popularity across the stat and surrounding states since the first competition in 2017.

This program was developed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to facilitate producers, industry leaders, students and other stakeholders to make farm management decisions in an interactive competition. During the 2019 growing season, producers and stakeholders across Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri potentially competed in four separate competitions: 1) sprinkler corn competition, 2) subsurface drip irrigated corn competition, 3) sorghum competition, and 4) OSU sprinkler corn contest.

Each contest focuses on three major areas: 1) highest grain yield, 2) highest input use efficiency, and 3) most profitable “farm.” Participants are able to make management decisions on this competition “farm,” including seed costs, crop insurance, irrigation timing and marketing decisions.

Results from the 2019 growing season competitions will be shared Dec. 12 during the TAPS banquet the Holiday Inn Express Conference Center in North Platte. Social hour starts at 5 p.m. followed by supper at 6, and the awards presentation will begin at 7. Those interested in learning more about the UNL-TAPS program are welcome to attend the banquet. This event encourages networking with current participants, industry leaders and TAPS organizers to learn more about the program and seek out more information about the upcoming 2020 competition.

RSVP to Krystle Rhoades ( by Dec. 1 to attend the banquet. More information about the UNL-TAPS program in general can be found at:

Farm finance, ag law

Free legal and financial clinics are scheduled across the state during December. These one-on-one clinics are available for farmers and ranchers wishing to seek financial advice about financial and business planning, transition planning, farm loan programs, debt structure and cash flow, agricultural disaster programs, and debtor/creditor law.

One clinic is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12, in North Platte. To sign up for a one-on-one consultation or to learn more, contact the Nebraska Farm Hotline at (800) 464-0258).

Farm Bill meetings

This is a reminder there will be several Farm Bill meetings across the local area this month. These meetings will cover changes in Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs. Producers are encouraged to attend these meetings to learn about changes in this new Farm Bill. Meetings are free and open to the public. Area meetings include:

-- Dec. 2: 1 to 4 p.m., Dawson County Extension Office, Lexington

-- Dec. 5: 1 to 4 p.m., College Park, Fonner Park Room, Grand Island

-- Dec. 16: 1 to 4 p.m., Custer County Fairgrounds, Broken Bow

-- Dec. 17: 1 to 4 p.m., Buffalo County Fairgrounds Antelope Meeting Room, Kearney

-- Dec. 18: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., West Central Research & Extension Center, North Platte

Advanced registration is encouraged so ensure enough materials for participants. Online registration is available at =

Sarah Sivits is the Dawson County Extension educator in crops and water, and serves Dawson, Buffalo and Hall counties. Contact her at (308) 324-5501 or by email at

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