All systems are "go" for the 34th annual Husker Harvest Days Sept. 13-15. Located six miles west of Grand Island on Husker Highway, HHD offers an opportunity to see the latest technology, products and services for agriculture all in one setting.
Billed as the nation's largest totally irrigated working farm show, and irrigation rigs got a workout on HHD fields during the high heat periods in July and August. You'll find many irrigation system manufacturers and component products on the exhibit lots and in the field.
"But HHD is not just for Nebraska producers," says Don McCabe, editor Nebraska Farmer. "HHD is a national show with a western Corn Belt flavor."
There is much more than irrigation equipment at HHD. You'll also see corn harvesting, grain drying, tillage, hay harvesting and handling as well as cattle handling demonstrations. Even the "latest and greatest" in lawn mowing equipment will be demonstrated. There will also be strip-tillage, horse training, herding dog trials, stalk shredding and sprayer demos.
Exhibitors have been working all summer mowing, painting or changing things on their lots, says Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events manager. "When the crowds show up at Husker Harvest Days in September, exhibitors want to make a favorable and lasting impression."
Husker Harvest Days management has made some changes and improvements as well. For example, lawn mowing demonstrations will now be located in a permanent spot at the southeast corner of the exhibit field. "We installed a sprinkler system and seeded blue grass which will make it nice for the mowing demonstrations," says site manager Roger Luebbe. "It also means visitors will always know where to look for these demonstrations from now on," he adds.
Thirty new lots have been added to the south side of South Street, says Jungmann. "These were added primarily to accommodate exhibitors who need more space as equipment continues to get larger."
Seed plots have been relocated. "Rather than behind the seed company exhibits, they are now located along Flag Avenue so as visitors walk in they will be able to view the corn seed plots," continues Jungmann.
A new tram lane has been added around the exhibit field so trams won't have to mingle with foot traffic.
Side-by-side field demos
The field demonstrations are always must-see for Husker Harvest Days visitors. Corn for the field demos was maturing nicely at press time, according to Luebbe. All corn was planted in 30-inch rows.
Expect to see the biggest and most technologically advanced combines in the world operating side by side. You'll also see strip-tillage demonstrations, precision farming and haying demos.
Special demos such as bagging shelled corn and manure spreading demonstrations are also planned.
Live cattle handling demonstrations will be held each day. In the same area you will find myriad livestock-related displays, including handling equipment, waterers, fencing and haying equipment and animal health products.
Nebraska's commodity associations have booths or buildings to inform members and non-members about their services and positions on issues. Take the Commodity Building along Main Street, for instance. Representatives from the state's corn, soybean and grain sorghum associations and checkoff programs are there each day. They can discuss with you a whole host of ideas.
The Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) and Nebraska Beef Council have a booth in the cattle building. Learn about the beef checkoff and the NC's beef quality assurance certification program. Breed associations have exhibitor lots near the cattle building.
The Natural Resources Tent is a "one-stop-shop" for people interested Nebraska's natural resources and conservation programs.
General farm organizations are present, too. For example, WIFE (Women Involved in Farm Economics) and Farm Bureau are there.
IANR's "Market Journal" television program returns with new presentations in the Market Journal tent next to the Husker Red exhibit building, where it will present 30-minute discussions on crop and livestock marketing and other topics.
If you miss a seminar while at the show, you can go online at www.marketjournal.unl.edu. The sessions also are Webcast live during the show.
Other educational institutions, including several community colleges, exhibit at the show.
Country Craft Tent
Not all the clever ideas at Husker Harvest Days are in the seed and equipment lots or the harvest fields.
Many show visitors make the annual trek to check out the offerings in the Husker Harvest Days Crafts Tent. Familiar crafters will be back, as usual, with their creations, but there will be new ones to see.
At the 2011 show, there will be approximately 40 clever crafters in the big white tent along West Avenue, in the southwest corner of exhibit area.
* Antique tractors and equipment as well as antique corn picking and plowing demonstrations
* Herding dog demonstrations
* Stop by for a cold drink or hot cup of coffee in the Hospitality Tent where you will also find health screening services.
Gates open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is $10 for adults per day, students ages 13-17, $5 per day. Children 12 and under get in free. There is no charge for parking.
Thanks go to the following people who work together to make HHD an enjoyable and educational show for you: Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events manager; Dena Morgan, national events marketing specialist; Terry Butzirus, regional sales manager; Roger Luebbe, operations manager and his staff; Diane Bybee, sales associate and Crafts Tent coordinator; Don McCabe, Nebraska Farmer editor; Curt Arens, field editor and Suzy Allan Kleeb, HHD office manager.
The Agricultural Institute of Nebraska (AIN) is a sponsor of the show, along with Nebraska Farmer. See accompanying story to find its members.
From the beginning of HHD back in 1978, Nebraska Farmer has worked with the Agricultural Institute of Nebraska (AIN), a nonprofit affiliate of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, in sponsoring the show.
AIN board members include:
* Dave Boehle, St. Libory
* Mel Fuller, Grand Island
* Richard Schaffert, Aurora
* Les Schimmer, Grand Island
* Ed Stoltenberg, Cairo
* Larry Wilhelmi, Grand Island
* Colby Collins, Grand Island
* Tyson Schimmer, Grand Island
* Jeff Spiehs, Central City