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Bringing a southern mindset to a Midwest farm showBringing a southern mindset to a Midwest farm show

The Farm Progress Show was the place to see next generation ag technology, on-farm demos and equipment in all colors.

Pam Caraway

September 13, 2023

9 Slides

You can’t find a cotton picker at the Farm Progress Show. Not this year, not any year. 

Food vendors aren’t likely to ever offer jambalaya – or at least any that’s worth eating. 

And none of the crop protection folks can help with questions about controlling wild rice or ripening sugarcane. 

For all that it lacks, however, the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill., offered a wide range of agricultural exhibits, information and demos to attract a southerner’s interest. After all, show that alternates between Illinois and Iowa regularly draws visitors from more than 30 foreign countries – and many of them find the experience worth a follow-up trip or two. For anybody in the market to buy a new tractor, they were on display and on the 300-acre demo field. Redball was on hand with a new hooded sprayer. And, precision tools abounded. 

For those who enjoy a walk down memory lane, FPS 2023 included a parade of antique tractors. Farmall celebrated is the 100th Anniversary of its tractors and the 70th anniversary of the Farm Progress Show with a trek the day before the show opened starting – appropriately – in Farmer City, Ill., and finishing at the show site, where the tractors were on display throughout the event. International Harvester enthusiasts organized the event that brought color and sound to a bit of ag history.  

Another significant draw was the latest ag technology. Looking like something from a syfy movie, the Nexat is an 13-foot tall tractor that will likely hit the market in another year or two. The German-based Terrakamp is field testing the tractor that they bill as a “holistic crop production system,” essentially one tractor that can be paired with implements for tillage, planting, spraying and harvesting row crops. The autonomous tractor includes a cab on one end where the driver monitors six strategically placed cameras and other precision equipment. Many who walked up the display stopped on the road first to eye the machine before approaching it.  

And the show was not without a bit of southern delight. Fendt is partnering with Georgia-born country singer Luke Bryan for a Boldly Grown peanut promotion. And The Pie Lady from Ohio offered a southern treat – pecan pie, which was popular with visitors from all over. 

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