Climb on the biggest combine you can find at the Kentucky Expo Center and there’s farm iron far out onto the horizon. With 1.2 million sq. ft. of agricultural machinery and technology to explore, the National Farm Machinery Show takes the title of the country’s largest indoor farm show.
The 2011 show marked the 46th annual event, and with a bullish ag market, both farmers and exhibitors were excited about the positive outlook of the industry.
"This year’s show was sold out in exhibit space again like it is every year," explains Harold Workman, CEO and president of the Kentucky Fair Board, which hosts the event. "This show is a barometer for what will happen in the industry, and everything in agribusiness seems positive."
The show attracts up to 300,000 attendees. With 27 acres of more than 850 exhibits under roof, no matter what type or size of farming operation, there was something on display geared for every farmer.
New Holland introduced its new-from-the-ground-up 200 Series skid steers. Bush Hog unveiled five new products ranging from hay tools to rear blades. Massey Ferguson displayed a tractor built to use with a front-end loader, a new mower conditioner and a compact tractor. John Deere showed the new 1 Series subcompact tractor for the first time. Resulting from a partnership between Deutz-Fahr and Unverferth Manufacturing, the Agrotron M Series can be outfitted with dual tires suited for 30" row crop production. For more information on the machines at the show, see Machinery Journal.
Beyond farm iron, new technologies were abundant. Since the onset of interim Tier 4 emissions regulations, this show was one of the first times all of the major manufacturers had their engine technology that meets the standard on the same exhibit floor.
Farm tires from Titan and Michelin were introduced with engineered designs that offer more traction and flotation in today’s field conditions. Another hot topic during the show was new technologies for the planter pass with swath control, downpressure adjustments, starter attachments and row cleaners for tough residue conditions. The Farm Journal Media team of editors explored all of the eight interconnected halls and posted pictures, stories, videos and more at www.agweb.com/nfms.
More than machinery. A popular aspect of the show is the free series of seminars presented by Farm Journal Media. To get farmers ready for the upcoming crop year, Farm Journal Field Agronomists Ken Ferrie and Missy Bauer presented a Corn College Tune-Up, which was a 90-minute agronomic clinic. With commodity markets a hot topic, AgWeb blogger Kevin Van Trump hosted his first-ever marketing seminar with the inside story on how the marketing game has changed.
As could be expected, Farm Journal Economist Bob Utterback had two packed seminars of more than 400 attendees each to hear his Market Outlook presentation. Another standing-room only crowd gathered for the live TV taping of the marketing roundtable discussion for "U.S. Farm Report," featuring Bob Utterback, Mark Gold and Gregg Hunt. For the first time, Implement & Tractor, Farm Journal Media’s publication for equipment dealers, hosted a session presented by Greg Peterson on rising used equipment values and the latest trends Peterson has observed while studying farm auction data.
Every night, the crowds gathered for the action of the National Championship Tractor Pull sponsored by Syngenta and held in Freedom Hall. The final results of the tractor pull are available at www.agweb.com/nfms, and our team of editors also posted test runs and commentary from fans in the stands.
Mark your calendars for the 2012 National Farm Machinery Show to be held Feb. 15 to 18.
NFMS in Real Time
Farm Journal Media was on hand at the National Farm Machinery Show to bring you the next best thing to being there. Our online coverage includes stories, videos and pictures. The Farm Journal and AgWeb.com Facebook pages were flooded with farm show news, fun pictures and informational videos.
Editors also used Twitter during the show to guide people to our seminars, highlight what’s new at the show and bring real time coverage with TwitPic photos posted to Twitter. Thanks to YouTube and the iPhone, the team also provided instant video of one of the show’s first tractor pulls in Freedom Hall. Be sure to check out online coverage of all Farm Journal events to come.
— Anna-Lisa Giannini