From a five-acre Precision Planting plot that'll inform the heck out of you, to a tire demonstration tool that's so unique it has to be powered by a European generator. Yep, I'm talking about the 2012 Farm Progress Show, our annual celebration of all things new in agricultural technology and productivity.
Of course, this column is more iron focused, but if you want to get a better handle about how your planting iron is doing on your farm, a trip to that demonstration from Precision Planting will be an eye opener. The company has constructed a five-acre clinic on the eastern edge of the show site, near the corn demo fields, that offers farmers an opportunity to learn a lot more about how best to plant a valuable crop.
Now about that tire demo. I got a sneak peek at a tool Michelin has on hand to show just how much of a difference their VF tire line makes in the actual contact patch on the ground. It's significantly longer than conventional radials (they compare their newest tires to their venerable Agribib radials) and the patch is not as deep - or compacted - as well.
But how to show that? Well, they brought a machine over from France that will show the bulge of the tire, then rotate the big tires over to "sand pits" where the contact patch is made. It's a unique way to show a product and its benefits, and my early shot of the unit probably doesn't do it justice (note the big screens at the top aren't on). But farmers will get a schooling on the newest tech in farm tires - the high-flexion sidewalls designed to operate at lower pressures even under higher loads.
That's just a sampling of what's on hand this year, with more than 500 exhibitors, we'll see dozens of new products and ideas at the show. So if you're coming, enjoy. The weather forecast - right now -means we'll be getting some corn harvest demonstrations in (a first for the Boone, Iowa location). And were all excited. See you there!