Dale Samp and his family were out kicking the tires and trying out new technology at the recent Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa.
Samp and his son, Kyle, made the trek from Cairo, Mo., to see the latest products on display. "We come up every year," Samp said. "It gives me an excuse to see my son and grandson."
Andrew Samp and his son, Levi, live in nearby Ames, Iowa. However, it is younger brother Kyle who is working with dad on the farm. "We are looking at what is coming out," he says. "And trying to decide where we need to go in the future."
Like the Samps, farmers from across the Midwest, as well as, some international visitors, saw many new products rollouts this year.
A tractor equipped with planter traveled in circles all three days showing the latest technology from Precision Planting. Obtaining proper down force will no longer require adjusting an entire planter unit. Rather, growers can make split-second decisions for every row.
Still in the beta-testing phase, 20/20 DeltaForce system uses weight sensors and hydraulic cylinders on each row to react to changing soil conditions. This new system takes control of every row and applies the right amount of down force to achieve consistent seed depths. The system will be available for Deere, Kinze and CNH planters. A limited number of systems will be in the fields for 2013. After that, company representatives say the prices will be set for the 2014 planting season.
A couple of streets over, representatives from Outback Guidance Products offered attendees and opportunity to try out their latest precision farming system. Climbing inside a utility vehicle, farmers were able to touch the screen and make decisions on the company's latest product, Outback MAX with ConnX.
Making precision farming simple was the goal of Hemisphere GPS Outback MAX with ConnX. The company's 10.4-inch console offers touch screen capabilities, along with four backlit buttons. Farmers can create shortcuts and favorites within the system for commonly used tasks in the field and return to them with a tap of the console. Wireless connection delivers real time data from the field to the office or service provider. It also provides vehicle tracking, advanced weather and remote access to the terminal.
Big time displays
From Jumbotron displays by seed and machinery companies to cattle chute and combine demonstrations, the show offered something for every type of producer.
For livestock producers, cattle chute manufacturers displayed and demonstrated their products with the help of live cattle from Iowa State University. A group of cattle ran through four different chutes as company representatives explain just how to work cattle with their product.
Interactive displays catch the attention of many show attendees. One of my favorites was the Challenger display. Using a grain bin as its headquarters, a large screen mounted outside displayed a video of a corn field match between Challenger and other tractors and combines. Attendees stopped and stared to see who would be the winner.
But it wasn't all educational, there was a little fun.
Hitting the mark
Jim DeCrane and Brandon Johnston of Galva, Ill., stopped by the Massey-Ferguson display to challenge their strength. The company used a high striker game, where an individual uses a mallet to try to ring a bell positioned at the top. Winners earned a t-shirt that read, "Man up with Massey." Not to worry, it was for ladies too.
Like many other attendees, the friends came to look at the latest equipment. "We are just looking at what the future looks like," says Johnston "Now if we can only afford it."