A Publication of WTVP

The Peoria County Farm Bureau Marketing Committee sponsored a chartered bus to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. Forty-two people interested in agriculture participated in the two-day trip February 12 and 13 (though the show actually ran February 12 to 15), which marked the 38th year for the nation’s largest indoor farm show. It took place at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center and included a total of 20 acres under one roof, featuring 800 exhibitors illustrating the latest trends in agriculture.

The exhibits covered a wide array of agriculture familiar to Illinois farmers, from crops and livestock to machinery and grain handling systems.

The trip to Louisville is always educational, whether it’s familiar or not. One participant commented that you often have to stop by an exhibit just to find out what it is. The show is a national farm show, covering tobacco growers, cotton producers, aquaculture, vegetable growers, and a host of other occupations unfamiliar to north central Illinois farmers.

In the area of crops, companies are continuing to research the capability of crops producing specific resources. Companies such as Monsanto, who developed Roundup resistant soybeans and corn, are finding other avenues to enhance the capabilities of growing plants. Most of the corn and soybeans produced today are used for livestock feed. To keep demand strong, significant effort is being used to discover industrial uses for crops. Industrial uses today include fuels, cleaners, building materials, and paints.

Machinery displays took a large percentage of the display space. All of the major companies were there, along with a host of foreign manufacturers. The displays always prove that just when you think a piece of equipment is as fine tuned as it can get, there will be another added feature the following year. Most of the added features boil down to added efficiency. How does the manufacturer make a product that will perform a given task better? That could be through greater fuel economy on powered machines or through longer wear life on tillage equipment.

One area where there seemed to be an increase in exhibit space was for the all terrain vehicle or ATV. The ATV is used on many farms to perform a variety of jobs. These include checking livestock, sowing small seeds—such as clover or grass—or performing small tillage tasks. There seemed to be a whole new fleet of equipment designed just for ATVs.

Companies continue to pour research into livestock management issues. With the concentration of livestock comes increased concern with the management of the waste and odor. There have been some creative ideas in deodorizing hog waste. This will continue to be at the forefront of research initiatives for both national and international companies. IBI