If Mother Nature was kind to you this year, which may put you in the minority in Indiana, you may have a few dollars to spend on new machinery or products this year. Even if Mother Nature frowned heavily on your farm, if you had crop insurance, irrigation or just got lucky, it may still be a decent year on income. At least that's what Chris Hurt at Purdue University is reporting.
If so, there are plenty of companies out there looking for a share of your farm budget. Many have introduced new products, some so new that they were still in the prototype stage at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill., earlier this fall. Some stuck new tags on products a couple of years old- but that's typical. Push them and they'll say, 'they're new to this show' or 'they're new to you.'
Farm Progress Companies unleashed a team of four editors to find new products at the show. Two weeks later at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island Nebraska, a show held every year, editors found more items. All in all, I'm spending a couple of weeks cataloguing those items and grouping them so that if you want to spend your money on fertilizer equipment, for example, you will find a story about new products just coming out for fertilizer application. Out of some 10 new products we uncovered, most truly new, nearly 20 relate to fertilizer application.
These stories actually starting appearing in the October issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer, with a story about favorite products that editors uncovered. We looked for things that peaked our interest, based partly on past experience. For me, one was a simple device the sells for under $200, but extracts metal T-posts when you're taking out a fence. I've tugged on my share and wrapped chains around another share to pull out with a tractor in my lifetime. I couldn't pass up shining the spotlight on that one.
Some items that are new are for bigger investments. I also liked the door that opens straight out in one piece from Lester Buildings. The advantage is that it doesn't require the inside space being higher than the door. However tall you make the building is how tall the door is.
You can start looking for more of these stories in fall and winter issues, beginning with the November issue. Even if you're not eager to spend bucks, there are some real innovative products worth taking a look at. The prototypes really get me pumped up.
KSI Conveyors, based in Kansas with sales reps spread around the country, had one auger and portable unload system so new that they left it in the parking lot. It still wasn't painted up yet. What was more exciting was that one of the company people took me all the way out to see it, on a four-wheeler, of course.
Companies are proud of their innovation. If you have money to spend and don't invest it in updating machinery this fall, it's not because the companies aren't doing their best to offer attractive products.
So take a look at what's new when these articles appear. You just might find something you can afford that fills a need. Or maybe it hits a nerve, as the post extractor did for me, and you just can't resist it.