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Mark your calendar for the 2023 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill., Aug. 29-31, and check out these 12 can’t-miss highlights.

Holly Spangler, Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer

May 4, 2023

4 Min Read
 Matt Jungmann at the Farm Progress Show
NEXT YEAR: Farm Progress and the city of Decatur, Ill., have inked a deal to continue holding the FPS there through 2031. “We promised in 2004 to do 10 Farm Progress Shows in Decatur. And believe it or not, this is No. 10 in Decatur,” says Matt Jungmann, national events director. Betty Haynes

‘Tis the season for the Farm Progress Show! The 2023 FPS is back in Illinois this year, coming to Decatur Aug. 29-31.

Matt Jungmann, national events director for Farm Progress, is spending his days working on what he calls his “900-piece puzzle.”

“I’m doing the dance of laying out all the exhibitors on an expanded map with all 12 streets,” he explains. That’s not as easy as it used to be.

“We’ve got mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances where this person’s gotta be next to this person, or this company can’t be next to that company,” Jungmann says — and it’s his job to make everybody happy. Especially the folks who come to the show.

Here are 12 things to know about the biggest outdoor farm show in the country:

1. Promising field demo corn. Great news for the field demonstrations: The four host farmers planted all 360 acres of corn on April 14. Demos are planted with 90-day corn, with hopes of a typical summer of heat that will push the crop to maturity by late August. As of late April, the corn had emerged and was growing fast.

2. Big equipment introductions. Amid lots of new product rollouts, look for the Nexat all-in-one autonomous machine at the Farm Progress Show, designed by the German company Kalverkamp. It’s a massive electric machine that can plant, till, spray and harvest with modules that can be swapped out — including a 24-row corn head.

3. More autonomous technology. In recent years, the autonomy demonstration area has been, as Jungmann says, “the Raven show.” But for 2023, he already has five different companies coming to demo autonomous technology. “Participants are coming out of the woodwork for that technology,” he reports.

4. Electric everything. Look for new electric equipment from nearly every manufacturer, from tractors to lawn mowers to side-by-sides to forklifts. “Everybody’s trying to play in that space,” Jungmann says.

5. Back on track. The 2021 FPS was a little smaller than normal due to the pandemic, but Jungmann reports that exhibitors are back in force in 2023. The street he shaved off in ’21 due to fewer exhibitors is back and full of booths for ’23. “2021 was 80% or 90%, depending on how you measure things. It wasn’t 100%. But 2023 is 100% of the Farm Progress Show and full of product introductions,” he says.

corn seedlings in a field

6. Bigger-than-ever VIT. Look for the biggest Varied Industries Tent ever put up in any location. At 66 feet wide and nearly 700 feet long, this tent will extend all the way to Central Avenue and will be full of small, innovative, startup companies and businesses.

7. Sold out? This is why Jungmann is juggling the map around. He says exhibitor applications are coming in fast, and at this pace, several categories will sell out. He’s also heard from companies that typically operate in Germany and Ukraine but have excess capacity due to the war in Ukraine and are moving products into the U.S. Upshot: Look for a lot of cool equipment at the 2023 FPS.

8. International visitors. As the world has opened back up, so too has international interest in the Farm Progress Show. Visitors from countries that have never been to the show before are asking for letters of invitation, and the Decatur Convention and Visitors Bureau is busy cranking them out in droves.

9. Tested traffic routes. All traffic routes will be the same as in 2021, which worked well. No news is good news.

10. Decatur until 2031. Jungmann reports that Farm Progress and the city of Decatur have inked a deal to continue holding the FPS there through 2031. “We promised in 2004 to do 10 Farm Progress Shows in Decatur. And believe it or not, this is No. 10 in Decatur,” Jungmann says. The show will continue in Boone, Iowa, through at least 2036.

11. Tickets and more. The show runs Aug. 29-31 in Decatur, Ill. Tickets are available at the gate for $20 for adults and $10 for ages 13-17; 12 and under are free. You can also buy advance tickets online for $15 starting June 1 at

12. Husker Harvest Days. Want to head west? Check out HHD in Grand Island, Neb., Sept. 12-14. The show will have a full exhibit field, plenty of cattle handling equipment on display, and field demonstrations covering harvest, tillage and alfalfa.

About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

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