Show reunites the agriculture industry around equipment and technology
Few events in agriculture can claim to bring so many people together under one roof as the National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS). Held Feb. 12 to 15, 2014, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ken., the show marked its 49th event this year. It featured the latest equipment and technology, the highly regarded Championship Tractor Pull and several educational sessions.
"This is the biggest and the best show of its kind in the nation," says Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe, president and CEO of the Kentucky State Fair Board, which organizes the show. "But we are also in the business of making a difference in the world’s ag economy."
Exploration on a grand scale. Entering a year with lower corn and soybean prices, producers arrived to find innovations to help them farm more efficiently. Highlights included planting technology aimed at faster in-field travel and smarter soil-specific seeding, along with a wealth of machines and technology for harvest. Exhibitors also showcased products to move and store grain with greater speed, irrigate crops for maximum water conservation and more.
While an icy winter storm kept some people in the Southeast from attending, the event attracted 294,360 visitors, making it one of the 10 best-attended shows in its history. Attendees came from across the U.S., Europe, the Pacific Rim and beyond, Rippetoe notes. The National Farm Machinery Show has an economic impact of $22 million.
Adjacent to the show, the 46th annual Championship Tractor Pull drew more than 66,000 fans. The oldest event of its kind, it features roughly 180 of the world’s best drivers vying for a share of $250,000 in prize money. Winners included Don Masterson of Grandview, Ind., driving Tinker Toy, who took first place in the 10,200-lb. Pro Stock Tractors division.
Free seminars. During the week, Farm Journal Media held two free educational seminars to help advance farmers’ understanding of machinery values and commodity markets.
Farm Journal Media’s used equipment values expert Greg Peterson, known as Machinery Pete, spoke about the outlook for 2014. Used values for farm equipment in good condition are surprisingly strong amid lower crop prices and changes in tax policy, he says. The second and third quarters are likely to see softer used equipment prices on late-model large equipment such as high-horsepower tractors, combines and sprayers, possibly creating a good buying opportunity.
Meanwhile, Bob Utterback, Farm Journal economist, encouraged producers to prepare for market volatility resembling the 1970s. Weather will fluctuate greatly, and the needs of aging Baby Boomers will play an increasing role in market activity. He fears there is a lot of old-crop corn still in storage, and prices aren’t likely to increase above $4.75, so don’t hold on to that inventory into the June or July time frame. As for old-crop soybeans, Utterback recommends selling now because the market has likely reached its high.
A standing-room-only crowd attended a live TV taping of the Marketing Roundtable segment for "U.S. Farm Report," hosted by Tyne Morgan and Al Pell. The three panelists were Utterback, Jim Bower of Bower Trading and Mike North of First Capitol Ag.
Make plans now to attend the 50th National Farm Machinery Show happening Feb. 11 to 14, 2015.
To see the latest equipment and technology and watch video profiles of three tractor pullers, visit www.FarmJournal.com/nfms2014
You can email Nate Birt at email@example.com.