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12 highlights of Farm Progress show season

Here’s what you need to know to make the most of the 2024 Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days.

Holly Spangler, Prairie Farmer Senior Editor

April 30, 2024

4 Min Read
Two young boys walk alongside men at the Farm Progress Show
BETTER TRAFFIC: At the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, a new overpass across the railroad tracks on the north side of the site means traffic can flow in and out from the north end of the show site — which wasn’t possible before. Holly Spangler

The corn went in the ground early, the exhibit fields are filling up, and Matt Jungmann couldn’t be any happier.

Jungmann is national events director for Farm Progress, which means he’s responsible for both the Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days. FPS this year is in Boone, Iowa, Aug. 27-29, and HHD is in Grand Island, Neb., Sept. 10-12.

“Having that corn in the ground early in near-perfect conditions is fantastic,” Jungmann says. “If Mother Nature’s willing — and she seems to be at this point — we’re set up for a fantastic set of field demonstrations.”

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

1. Promising field demo corn. On April 11-12, host farmers planted all 360 acres of corn on the Farm Progress Show site, which will be harvested as part of the field demonstrations that let manufacturers show off their latest and greatest equipment and technology. Demos are planted with 82-day corn, with hopes of a typical summer of heat that will push the crop to maturity by late August. Husker Harvest Days corn went in the ground April 12.

2. Big equipment introductions. Major equipment manufacturers have rolled out plenty of new equipment through the winter, but the Farm Progress Show will be the first chance for farmers to see that equipment operate in the field. Look for new combines from Case IH and John Deere, and for the high-horsepower 9RX tractor from Deere.

“Getting corn in the ground now sets the stage to see all that equipment operate in real-world conditions come showtime,” Jungmann adds.

3. More autonomous technology. The autonomy demonstration area grew exponentially last year at FPS and HHD, and Jungmann expects that to continue. Look for several new players in that arena, all demonstrating at the shows.

“Participants are coming out of the woodwork for that technology,” he reports.

Farm show attendees walking down the street

4. Electric everything. Expect to see 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 last Farm Progress Show in Boone in 2022 was a little smaller than normal due to the pandemic, but Jungmann reports that exhibitors are back in force in 2024, and the show is fuller than it was before the pandemic. Look for additional exhibits throughout the grounds.

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

7. Women in ag. Head over to the Case IH Stage at the Farm Progress Show for a full slate of topics and speakers, all focused on women in agriculture. At HHD, look for additional women in agriculture programming in and near the Husker Harvest Days Hospitality Tent. 

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.

9. Better traffic routes. At FPS, a new overpass across the railroad tracks on the north side of the site means traffic can flow in and out from the north end of the show site — which has never happened before. “Now you can get to the site and never get on Highway 30 at all,” Jungmann says.

10. Tickets and more. FPS runs Aug. 27-29 in Boone, Iowa. HHD runs Sept. 10-12 in Grand Island, Neb. FPS tickets are available at the gate for $25 for adults and $10 for ages 13-17; 12 and under are free. You can also buy advance tickets online for $15 at HHD tickets are available at the gate for $25 for adults, or receive complimentary tickets by registering online in advance at Online ticket sales for both shows will be available starting in early June.

11. New in the field at Husker. Out in the field at HHD, look for a new soybean plot from Pioneer and a new short-stature corn plot from Bayer. There also will be a new cover crop plot and cover crop applications for field demonstrations.

12. Cattle? Think HHD. Husker Harvest Days always has plenty of cattle handling equipment on display, plus field demonstrations covering harvest, tillage and alfalfa. Be sure to check out the new BEEF Building, formerly the livestock building.

About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Prairie Farmer Senior Editor, 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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