This is the final installment of our daily look at Husker Harvest Days. The gates are closed and we're back home after a great week at the show. Check out links to other installments of this series too.
My trip to Nebraska was fruitful. My goal was to pick up on some new technology for irrigation - and I learned plenty. And I'll share more of that with you in the coming weeks. This was a show where the weather held out (actually held out hot may be the better description).
And like Farm Progress Show a couple weeks ago - I've learned that hot and dry beats wet and cold anyday. Of course, Husker Harvest Days added windy to the mix and each of us found ourselves washing off dirt in places you didn't think dirt could go if you wear clothes. One colleague, after a day on site, said he took two showers because he was so dust covered. Yet it was a great time.
Of course the demonstrations are a big deal and it's great to see combines and hay equipment run. We hold out hope that rain or odd growing conditions don't clip harvest potential. We've had years when growing degree units were a bigger problem than the on-site weather, bringing wet corn that was no fun to run through a combine.
Since this is my final blog on the show, let me sum up a few things I learned - and I saw only a specific part of the show - irrigation equipment.
1 - farmers continue to look at ways to enhance equipment they already have. In these times, buying something new sounds good, but for some items just an upgrade may do. And companies are making that happen with new tools to boost productivity or efficiency of existing equipment.
2 - monitoring is getting more attention. Whether it's new rules for water use in some regions, or the required addition of meters on water use equipment, you want to know what you buy and apply is doing the job. And you'll find plenty of tools on that score.
3 - you're using more smartphones than ever. We always have later-day data problems at farm shows, it's a problem that has evolved over the years. When I first started going to farm shows if you wanted to connect with someone you stood in line at the payphone bank (Husker Harvest Days used to have one outside the old show office). Today, you hope your cell signal goes through, and with all those visitors hitting the site at one time even the additional cellular equipment can't keep up. But on the flip side, it was better than in past years. We're working to help keep you connected.
4 - shorts are great when the temps are 90 degrees F. A few years ago a colleague talked me into wearing shorts at a farm show. I had an odd dress code that no matter how hot you should wear long pants (not even jeans). Today, I prefer shorts, close-toed hiking sandals and a hat (and yes I wear a Husker Harvest Days shirt too. The older I get the more I think comfort rules.
5 - The bigger kid can't always hit the bell at the Sapp Bros. exhibit. It's there that they have one of those carnival games where you use a big hammer to try to raise a weight to ring the bell. I recommend stopping by to watch - and you'll find this is ALL about technique. I watched three strapping farm kids try their best to ring the bell (they got a water bottle after all) and fail. Then a wiry kid steps up, probably 50 pounds lighter than the others and in one swing you heard the bell ring. Perhaps it's in the wrist?
I learned plenty more about technology and tools that I'll share soon. For the rest of the installments in this Husker Harvest Days blog series, check the related links below (and for a few added items).