Plenty on Hand for 2009 Show

Making plans to head to Husker Harvest Days? Here's a quick roundup of what you'll be able to see.

Published on: Sep 10, 2009

The world's largest totally irrigated working farm show – Husker Harvest Days -- opens Sept. 15, six miles west of Grand Island on Husker Highway. And you are all invited!

Gates open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is $5 for adults, ages 13-17, $2. Children 12 and under get in free. There is no charge for parking

HHD offers the opportunity to see the latest technology, products and services for agriculture all in one setting. And it's not just for Nebraska producers -- HHD is a national show with a Western Corn Belt "flavor".

"HHD has always been envisioned as a working show where farmers would have the opportunity to check out equipment in the 70-acre exhibit field, visit with farm organization representatives and manufacturers, and see equipment in side-by-side field comparisons," says Don McCabe, editor Nebraska Farmer.

Unlike other farm shows, all crops are irrigated, and most irrigation system manufacturers and component products in the field and on their exhibit lots, he adds.

But 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, stalk shredding and sprayer demos.

All exhibit lots are sold out again this year, and that's after the exhibit field was expanded to add one more street on the south.

That means 34 more lots for exhibitors to display their wares and services. And even with the expansion, the entire exhibitor area -- close to 80 acres now -- is full for the show, says Roger Luebbe, HHD operations manager.

All told, there are 870 lots at HHD, plus scores of companies and organizations inside three diversified industry buildings and in booths in other corners of the show.

"The expansion was made because of companies wanting to come to Husker Harvest Days for the first time and because of companies already exhibiting that wanted to expand their space," Luebbe says.

Twin-row corn

The field demonstrations are always a must-see for Husker Harvest Days visitors. And this year, for the first time, twin-row corn will be a highlight of the combining demonstrations. Twin-row corn will be harvested on Tuesday and Thursday, with regular 30-inch row corn harvested on Wednesday.

At Husker Harvest Days, you'll also see strip-tillage demonstrations, precision farming and haying demos. And there will also be hand corn-husking and antique equipment displays and demos.

More highlights

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.

General farm organizations are present, too. For example, WIFE (Women Involved in Farm Economics) and Farm Bureau are there.

The University of Nebraska, in its Husker Red Building on Third Street, has staff members explaining NU programs and timely ag issues. The all-new exhibits mark the second year that UNL Extension experts and Agricultural Research Division scientists will concentrate their Husker Harvest Days exhibits and presentations into more defined topical areas of current interest and concern to all Nebraskans. This theme-based exhibiting approach debuted last year on "water." This year it's crop production.

"Our displays at Husker Harvest Days will help show that capitalizing on crop production in the future isn't just about what and how much we grow, but also about growing it better….to make sure we're ready with the cropping answers we'll need in 10, 25 or 50 years," says NU vice president and IANR Harlan vice chancellor John Owens.

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.

Other educational institutions, including several community colleges, exhibit at the show.

Horsing around

Over the last 31 years, more and more horse related activities, competitions and vendors have been added to Husker Harvest Days. This year is no exception, the three days of Husker Harvest Days will feature three different events, team penning, two man ranch sorting and one man ranch sorting, beginning at 10:00 a.m. just east of the HHD exhibit area.

In addition, lifelong horseman and rancher Ron Knodel returns to demonstrate his techniques and share his wild horse gentling philosophies.

Livestock and equipment

Live cattle handling demonstrations will be held each day. In the same area you will find a myriad of livestock-related displays, including handling equipment, waterers, fencing and haying equipment and animal health products.

In the Rural Life Tent

The Rural Life tent typically features a wide variety of program topics scheduled throughout the day to amuse, enlighten and educate audiences of all ages and interests. The morning opens with information on the markets and the outlook for 2010 followed by a lively game of Jeopardy, the agriculture edition. The afternoon is filled with cowboy humor and songs sure to entertain visitors to the Rural Life tent.

Once again, the Country Craft Tent will be filled with some crafty crafts from Nebraska and neighboring states. More than 40 crafters will display their creations in the big white tent, at the corner of Second Street and West Avenue.

Other attractions

  • Antique tractors
  • Conservation and wildlife exhibits
  • Health screening service in the Nebraska Farmer Hospitality Tent
  • Stop by for a cold drink or hot cup of coffee in the Hospitality Tent.