STUTTGART – The 2019 Arkansas Irrigation Yield Contest, Most Crop per Drop, is now open for entries and the deadline to register is June 30.


“We are conducting a conservation yield competition measuring yield and water use for rice, soybeans, and corn,” said Chris Henry, associate professor for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.


The contest is meant to encourage irrigation best management practices such as computerized hole selection, sensor based irrigation scheduling and surge valve use, alternate wetting/drying rice irrigation and practices that lead to higher water use efficiency.


Courtesy of the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board and the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, this year’s contest prizes for both the corn and soybeans categories are: First place, $6,000 cash prize; second place, $3,000 cash prize; and third place, $1,000 cash prize.


In the rice category, there is a single first-place prize consisting of a hybrid seed “superbag,” valued at $12,000, sponsored by Ricetec. The $5,000 second prize in the rice contest is sponsored by the Mars Corporation. First-place winners from all categories will also receive a portable flow meter from McCrometer and a mag insertion meter from Seametrics. Winners will also receive a base and soil moisture station from Trellis and sensors, readers, and cash from Irrometer. Contest sponsors include Delta Plastics. Additional sponsorship is being sought.


The contest is open to any grower in Arkansas. Contest rules: 1. Participants must register by June 30, 2019. 2. A propeller flow meter must be installed at the riser bonnet in each field. 3. The flow meter must be read and sealed by a University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture contest official before irrigation begins. 4. Entrants must choose a county agent, Natural Resources Conservation Service agent or other person to supervise harvest. 5. A measured sample area of a minimum of three acres must be harvested to qualify. 6. Verifiable yield from scale tickets must be provided at harvest. 7. Minimum yield to win is 200 bushels per acre for corn and rice and 60 bushels per acre for soybeans. 8. The winning flow meter will be tested against a Division of Agriculture reference. 9. Yield must be above the county average. Non-irrigated crop fields may not be considered. 10. You may use any irrigation scheduling method you wish. Irrigation must meet crop water demand. 11. Delta Plastics can provide a vendor list for appropriate flow meters. 12. Highest water use efficiency will determine the winner.


For more information on irrigation and crop production, contact a county extension office or visit www.uaex.edu.


To register, contact Greg Simpson at 870-673-2661 or 870-243-2604. Participants may also register via email to contest@uark.edu.


Contestants who would like to request to borrow portable meters, surge valves, or soil moisture monitoring equipment can contact Greg Simpson or their local extension office. Meters are also available through conservation district offices and Natural Resource Conservation field offices.