Big crowds like checking out new technology at the Farm Progress Show This year they39ll have something added to those demo fields  the Drone Lab Photo Holly Spangler Prairie Farmer

Big crowds like checking out new technology at the Farm Progress Show. This year they'll have something added to those demo fields - the Drone Lab. (Photo: Holly Spangler, Prairie Farmer)

Feeding a farm show addiction

While you still may be running a planter (or waiting for ground to dry so you can) I'm already looking ahead. Really.

If you're a regular reader of my blog posts are at Farm Industry News, you know I have sort of a problem - I like farm shows. Or rather I like trade shows - at least the part where I get to check out technology and talk to people working on new innovations.

Thanks to my role here at Penton Agriculture, I'll be involved with some work at the Farm Progress Show for 2016, and it's going to be fun. I'll be working with my colleague at Wallaces Farmer - Rod Swoboda - on the Farm Progress Show Program.

Big crowds like checking out new technology at the Farm Progress Show. This year they'll have something added to those demo fields - the Drone Lab.

It also means I'll be visiting the show site a couple times as crops develop and I'll let you tech lovers in on what I learn about how the crop looks. But there's also something else the show has added, that I'm excited about - a Drone Lab.

You read that right. The show team has taken a piece an 80-acre piece of ground that was in the Conservation Reserve Program just east of the show site. On that ground, drone and data gathering companies can do what they want to measure crop development, capture data and have the opportunity to show off their latest tech.

The key is that the piece of ground is the same for all demonstrators, and you can check out their reports and data to learn more about what they learn. The show site is also collecting moisture information using a John Deere system and I'm hopeful there will be some in-season reporting at the farmprogressshow.com website you can check out too.

Innovations like the value of aerial imagery are hard to quantify, but as more people start using these tools (with FAA set to loosen rules later this year), the information gathered will be put to use in new ways. Many in ag are itching to put these tools to work, it'll be interesting to see the data collected by the Drone Lab during the 2016 show in Boone, Iowa.


Kyle Miller, AgEagle, is flying over the new Farm Progress Show Drone Lab field collecting early season data for use later this year in biomass and stand viability measures. He plans to fly the field regularly during the season to capture data. The Drone Lab is a new feature of the Farm Progress Show in 2016 - at Boone, Iowa. This is a slow-motion look at one of his launches.

Here at Farm Industry News we're interested in the information captured by these flying tools, and will share more as we get more ahead of the show. The potential for gaining insight into how data is gathered, and processed, will be helpful too.

Consider this the first installment of a series of blogs I'll be doing as I learn more about Farm Progress Show (and Husker Harvest Days too!). Note, Penton Agriculture owns both shows, and Farm Industry News.

If you have show questions, post a comment below and I'll try to get you an answer. And thanks.

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