Field demonstrations have been the hallmark of the Farm Progress Show since the first show 58 years ago.
This year is no different, with a full slate of demonstrations scheduled for Aug. 30, 31 and Sept. 1 near Decatur. Three types of demonstrations are planned for this year's show, weather permitting, notes Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events manager.
Corn harvest is slated for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. If all runs according to schedule, company representatives will comment about their combine, grain cart or other piece of machinery before they demonstrate it in the field.
Corn planted at the show site for field demonstrations has an earlier maturity than a typical farmer would likely plant in the area. This is especially significant this year, since planting was delayed due to wet spring weather.
Tillage tools and other special machines will operate each day from 2 to 3 p.m. Tillage tools demonstrated will range from deep rippers to conventional chisel plows and vertical tillage tools. Company representatives will be on hand to answer any questions that visitors may have about their equipment.
The most significant change since the show was in Decatur in 2009 is the introduction of a class for tools that can run faster to show their capabilities at increased speeds. Most of the new tillage tools, with nearly a dozen on the market, are recommended to run at 7 to 9 miles per hour.
"When run at slower speeds you don't always get a true picture of what the implement can do," Jungmann says. "The tillage tools that run at a standard slower pace will go first in the demonstration followed by the tools that run at faster speeds."
Precision agriculture demonstrations return to the Farm Progress Show and will share space with the standard field demonstrations. These demonstrations will be located north of the exhibit site and include autoguidance, strip tillage and additional precision farming innovations. These demonstrations will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
"This area is designed to give visitors opportunities to talk with the precision tech companies at a producer's convenience," adds Jungmann. "There are no formal group presentations. The goal is to give producers direct access and learning opportunities with these exhibitors."
The precision demonstration area is designed to be educational and interactive. The one-on-one time you spend learning about the technology will be very helpful as you make decisions about implementing the latest technology into your operation.
The 2011 Farm Progress Show will be held Aug. 30, 31 and Sept. 1 in northeast Decatur, south of I-72 and east of Richland Community College. The exhibit field is open to visitors Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Show admission at the gate is $12 for adults and $8 for students ages 13 to 17. Children under 12 are admitted at no charge. For a full schedule of events and more detailed information, visit www.FarmProgressShow.com.