Asked how corn was doing at the Farm Progress Show site in Decatur, Illinois, Jeff Smith an advertising rep for Farm Progress and former Illinois farm boy, noted the demonstration corn was somewhat behind, but should make it in time. Since the show moved to earlier dates a few years ago, the staff plants shorter-season hybrids that mature faster so that corn should be ready to run at show time. Smith expects the corn will be ready when the show arrives.
He also noted that this show is shaping up to be one of the biggest and best that the company has produced. Originally sold out of space in February, due to demand by would-be exhibitors, organizers have done what they can to create more space for exhibitors to set up equipment and meet the public.
As one example, antique row, featuring old tractors and implements from the past, has nearly always been located inside Tent City. This year, it's been moved just outside Tent City on a corner of the show grounds. The primary reason for moving it was so that the space inside would be utilized for people who wanted to exhibit at the show but who didn't yet have a booth or lot space.
The setup will be the same as usual. With the Decatur, Ill. site featuring paved roads and streets. Many of the medium-sized seed corn companies have their exhibits on the outside street rows, so they can have actual plots behind their tent to show customers. Many important discussions happen in those plots. However, even the size of the plots was scaled back this year, Smith notes, since there was such a premium on space.
If you want more than just a chance to see new equipment, several educational exhibits will be at the show. Folks in charge of the Conservation Partners tent say it will be one of their best displays ever. A rain simulator will demonstrate why soil from bare ground is lost during a rain event. And a soils pit will be dug and staffed by volunteers from the local soil classifiers group to help visitors understand the type of soil that exists where the show site is located.
The Health and Safety Tent is also poised for perhaps its biggest exhibit, with exciting new displays on grain bin safety to be featured at the show. It will also be one of the first times that the confinement barn gas build-up safety display built by Penn State University will be shown to the public.