Sunday, June 23, 2024

Most Crop per Drop

Arkansas irrigation yield contest is open for entries.

The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture has been demonstrating Irrigation Water Management Practices on cooperator farms for five years. Experience has shown that when applied effectively, water use can be reduced by 24% on average with no yield penalty.

Reductions in water use of around 40% have been documented. The adoption rate of Computerized Hole Selection is over 40%, indicating that this is now a mainstream practice in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Irrigation Yield Contest is designed to test the knowledge and ability of growers to produce the “Most Crop per Drop.” You may participate in the contest by identifying and irrigating a 30-acre field where water use using a propeller meter or other meter approved by the UADA contest staff is used to measure water use in the irrigated field. Yield is measured by harvesting 3 acres in a skip pattern. Harvest must be completed top to bottom of the field.

Go to to access the entry form and view the complete guidelines for the contest.

The deadline for the entry form is June 30. The meter will need to be sealed before the first irrigation. Call 870-673-2661 to request meter seal at least five days before. Entrants should read the contest rules carefully as the contest is similar to a yield contest but requires water use to be measured in addition to yield. 

To enter, print and complete the paper form contest entry or enter by using the Irrigation Contest online entry form. Send the entry form and a check made out to the University of Arkansas for $100 (entry fee) to: Irrigation Yield Contest, University of Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center, 2900 HWY 130 East, Stuttgart, AR 72160.

Locate a portable flow meter or have an in-place meter approved for use in the contest. The meter must only be used to measure water use during contest. Meters will be sealed to the irrigation system.

Contestants are officially entered only after their entry form has been received and processed by the UADA. Entry forms must be postmarked within 10 days of meter sealing, and no later than June 30. Incomplete entry forms will be disqualified. Contest field locations must be entered on entry forms and boundaries of the field must be identified before any irrigation event, including the flushing of rice fields. The supervisor must certify the beginning meter reading on the entry form.

Who can enter?

Here is the criteria to determine eligibility to enter the contest:

• Entries are for rice, soybeans and corn. Irrigated fields only.

• Contestant must be a certified FSA owner/operator of the entry plot, and the field must have a history of being irrigated.

• A copy of the FSA Form 578, including farm summary, must be submitted with the contest entry form.

• Contestants may not enter more than once per crop and per season.

• Contestants must be 18 years old at the time of entry.

• University of Arkansas employees and spouses are prohibited from entering the contest.

• Board members, employees, spouses of the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board, Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board and the Arkansas Soybean Promotion board are prohibited from entering the contest.

Anticipated awards

• $11,000 seed tote credit for first place winner in flooded rice production system (Cascade, MIRI, AWD) sponsored by Ricetec.

• $7,260 in hybrid seed for second place and $3,740 in hybrid seed for third place sponsored by Ricetec.

• $6,000 cash for the first-place winner in corn, $3,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place sponsored by the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board.

• $6,000 cash for the first-place winner in soybeans, $3,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third place sponsored by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.

• $500 cash from Delta Plastics for each first-place winner.

• $500 cash, 4 Watermark sensors and a manual reader from Irrometer for each first-place winner.

• Portable Meter from Mccrometer for each first-place winner.

• Insertion meter from Seametrics for each first-place winner.

• Soil Moisture Monitoring unit (Base and rover) from Trellis for each first-place winner.

• Aquatrac soil moisture monitor from Agsense/Valmont for each first-place winner.

• CropX 18” sensor and telemetry for each first-place winner.  

$20,485 in total for each first-place winner in corn, soybeans and rice will be awarded.

The University of Arkansas provided this information. Contact or call 870-673-2661 for any questions.

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