A favorite attraction of Farm Progress Show visitors for more than 50 years, field demonstrations offer the chance to watch machines run right next to the competition.
Trams are available for those who may have difficulty walking to the field demonstrations. Expect trams to operate from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Tram loading will be outside the east end of the exhibit grounds, adjacent to the intersection of Central Avenue and East Street.
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, 29 and 30, in 2012, will produce good weather and crops and fields dry enough to run. However, show organizers, beginning with Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events manager, and Mark Lovig, in charge of field demonstrations and show operations, pledge to do everything humanly possible to make sure that as many field demonstrations as possible come off without a hitch.
The combines fire up at 11 each morning. Thanks to RTK autosteer provided by Case IH and Trimble, with differential signal provided by Heartland Co-op and RTK of Iowa, all of the field demonstration corn was planted in perfect parallel passes. This accuracy will allow for any size corns head to run through the field side by side.
Tillage tools and other special machines will operate each day from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. This gives the visitor 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 can 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 run at slower speeds, you don't always get a true picture of what the implement can do.
"We'll run tools that require traditional speeds first, then run vertical tillage tools at faster speeds," says Lovig. "It really lets farmers get a better idea of what the machines can do."
The latest in row spacing technology will be on display and demonstrated on 80 acres in field No. 2. Great Plains provided the planter used in this field.
Precision and strip-till demonstrations
Precision agriculture demonstrations return to the Farm Progress Show and will have their own dedicated area adjacent to the tram loading area. Strip till is gaining popularity across the Midwest. These demonstrations will be located east of East Avenue in field demonstration field No. 1 shown on the map. For further information, check with the information booths or the video monitors throughout the grounds when you arrive. Demonstrations will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Some precision companies will share space with the strip-till equipment makers. Other stand-alone precision and strip-till companies will also be demonstrating equipment and will be available to talk with you.
The precision and strip-till technology demonstration area is designed to be educational. The one-on-one time you spend learning about the technology will be very helpful as you make decisions about implementing it into your operation.
Precision Planting will offer seminars at the plots titled: "The Agronomics of Planting Performance." The planter performance plots will illustrate 30-inch, twins and 20-inch twin row spacing from plant populations of 28,000 to 60,000. There are also plots to show the impact of proper seedbed preparation, downforce management and in-row seed placement. Scheduled start times are 10 a.m., 12 noon and 2 p.m.
Don't miss the show
The 2012 Farm Progress Show takes place in Boone, Iowa, Aug. 28, 29 and 30. The exhibit field is open to visitors 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for ages 13-17, and ages 12 and under are free. Discounted advance adult admission tickets are available now on the show's website. For a full schedule of events and more detailed information, visit www.FarmProgressShow.com.
The 2nd Annual Shootout tractor pull takes place Aug. 28 and 29 following the show at the fairgrounds; it is a separate event, and a separate admission ticket is needed. More details about the pull are available from a link on the show website.
There's a handy Farm Progress Show app for iPhones and Android mobile phones, available in the respective devices' app markets.