No matter where you farm chances are you have a big fall farm show close enough to visit. The fall farm show season kicks off Aug. 27 in Decatur, Ill., with the 2013 Farm Progress Show and based on how my calendar leading up to the event there will be plenty to see at the shows.
The shows are getting bigger each year and companies are building their fall marketing calendars - and the launch of new products for 2014 around this schedule. Big players including Agco, Case IH and John Deere all have new products to show off (trust me you'll be hearing more on this soon). Much will revolve around the 2014 requirement that companies bring out Final Tier 4 engines in the over-175-hp class.
Yet I expect more top agriculture technology at work from each equipment maker as they enhance their products. In my early days covering farm equipment launches it was all about the horsepower. Just how big could a high-horsepower fixed frame tractor get? With the Genesis launch we know 419 engine hp is a possibility. However, these days I expect to hear as much about the software a tractor or combine has as I will hear about its raw power.
With new agriculture technology we're linking machines in interesting ways to communicate across around the farm. These telematics tools are coming to fruition in new products and the launch of 2014 machines. That's with the original equipment manufacturers, but high-tech companies like Trimble and others are launch fleet management systems, and farm data sharing.
It will be interesting to see what separates different equipment makers in the Final Tier 4 versions of machines. No matter what brand you buy, it looks like there's diesel exhaust fluid in your future as all major makers turn to DEF as part of their emission-control strategy. Do you have a DEF strategy for your operation? How do you plan to buy it for newer equipment - and I'm including your pickup and over-the-road trucks too?
Those are questions new-equipment buyers will face this fall as they look at their fleets and determine how best to proceed. Add in the new telematics tools, and other management systems that are coming online, and you'll find there's plenty to discuss. Keeping up is, for us, part of the fun of this job, but we also do it to help you make sharper buying decisions.
We'll be reporting on new equipment as quickly as we're allowed ahead of the shows so check back soon or sign up for our twice-weekly e-newsletter so you don't miss our coverage - Subscribe to Farm Industry News Now e-newsletter.