When it comes to checking out new field equipment, a lot can be learned by looking at brochures, kicking tires at an indoor farm show and talking with company representatives. But the “proof is in the pudding,” as the saying goes, if you can evaluate how that machine performs in the field, running side by side with the competition.
That’s what makes the Farm Progress Show a “one-stop shopping grounds.” You can start by visiting company representatives on the exhibit field, then you can swing over to the field demos. That’s where you’ll likely see the tractor, combine, tillage tool and other equipment running alongside the competition under real-time field conditions.
Weather permitting, corn combines and numerous types of tillage tools will roll at this year’s show. Weather is the wild card. Show organizers have made it possible to hold a show by installing paved streets and drainage on permanent sites, but they still can’t guarantee that the dates chosen for the show, Aug. 28-30, will produce good weather and crops, and fields dry enough to run.
However, show organizers, beginning with Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events director, and Rick Wild, in charge of field demonstrations and show operations, pledge to do everything they can to make sure that as many field demonstrations as possible come off without a hitch.
Once you’ve visited the exhibit field and made notes on the machinery you may want to add to your operation, jump on a tram and take the opportunity to watch these machines run right next to the competition.
But before you head out to the demos, check the information booths, as well as video boards located at the main entrance and another at the tram loading location for the up-to-date field demonstration schedule.
Corn combining. The combines fire up at 11 each morning. Besides the combines, you will also see auger carts collecting grain on the go, and more.
Tillage. Tillage tools and other special machines will operate each day from 2 to 3 p.m. This gives you an opportunity to view all of the competitors in each segment running side by side.
Vertical-tillage tools. There will also be a class for tools that want to run faster to show what they can do. 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 they are run at slower speeds, you don’t always get a true picture of how these machines work.
The advent of vertical tillage has made it necessary to change the rules, and boost the long-standing speed limit on the demo field. Vertical-tillage tools can operate at their optimum speed once more traditional tillage tools have made their passes.
In the interest of yourself and those around you, please stay behind the ropes and follow directions given from the sound system and the safety team in the orange hats.