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Insider scoop: 9 things not to miss at this year’s FPS

people look at new tile in field
TILE: Tiling demonstrations will make their debut at the Boone, Iowa, site, at noon every day of the Farm Progress Show.
There’s a lot to see and do at the Farm Progress Show; veteran show director Matt Jungmann offers up the stops on his list.

Thinking about 90 acres of exhibits and 300 acres of field demos at the 2018 Farm Progress Show and wondering what in the world to hit first?

If you want the real insider scoop on the 2018 Farm Progress Show, look no further. Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events director and veteran leader of the nation’s largest outdoor farm show, is here to hook you up. Here are the nine stops he recommends making at this year’s Farm Progress Show, Aug. 28-30, in Boone, Iowa.

1. Field demonstrations. They’re a perennial favorite. “The crop is in great shape for us to be able to run field demonstrations,” Jungmann says. Combining starts at 11 a.m. every day. Check out tiling demos at noon and tillage at 2 p.m. all three days.

2. New products. They’re everywhere, spread all over the exhibit field. “What we’ve come to expect as the normal is pretty unbelievable,” Jungmann says. “Being the kickoff show for the farm show season, the Farm Progress Show gets more than our fair share of extra hype and notoriety because companies are using the show as a kickoff for these product launches.” In other words, keep your eyes open, because new stuff is everywhere.

3. New infrastructure. Check out new permanent structures at four different locations. Case IH has a new building, Sukup made a gazebo out of a grain bin, and Agco and GSI built a catwalk between the structures on their two lots. Farm Credit Services has a new building, too.

Show staff have been busy improving the site, as well. “One whole block on the east end of the site has been reshaped and drains much better,” Jungmann says. “Even though this site is 10 years old, we’re still making improvements and significant investments. We’re always working to improve the site!”

4. Figure out mergers. This one isn’t exactly a one-stop shop, but given all the change in the ag industry over the past couple of years, the Farm Progress Show is a great place to ask questions and figure out what these mergers mean for you.

“Go talk to your Pioneer and Dow folks or your Monsanto and Bayer folks,” Jungmann recommends. “Think about the technology that you’ve been using that’s now owned by BASF. Use the show to go figure out how this merger impacts you.”

5. Ride ’n’ drives. Every year, they get bigger and better. “You may not be in the mode for a new combine, but maybe you need a new side-by-side. Get in those and go for a test drive,” Jungmann says.

6. Helicopter rides. Really! Helicopter rides are new for Boone this year, and so many farmers lined up for them in Decatur, Ill., last year that they had to bring in a second helicopter. “It’s your chance to get a whole new view of the Farm Progress Show,” Jungmann says. A trip in the air costs $50, and they leave from the northeast edge of the show site, just outside of Gate 2. Summer Skies is the same outfit that flew in Decatur, and it will offer rides in Boone. Weather permitting, helicopters will run all day, all three days.

7. Cattle handling. The farther west you go, the more interest there is in cattle. The Iowa show site will offer at least three chutes and Dr. Joe Jeffries moderating during cattle handling demonstrations, every day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the southeast corner of the grounds. In fact, the whole southeast quadrant is full of livestock equipment, and Iowa State University is providing cattle for demonstrations.

“It’s an opportunity to compare features and take a look at new technologies for safe and efficient cattle handling,” Jungmann says.

8. Beer garden. “At some point in your visit, stop by Syngenta Square just outside the Main Gate for a cold refreshment,” Jungmann adds. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday. Look for a food truck there, as well.

9. Last-minute surprises! Jungmann says there are rumors of new products rolling out that will be a surprise to him, too. Another rumor floating around: a floating tractor. “From what I understand, there are last-minute surprises that exhibitors are working up, and they haven’t even told us about them,” he says.

Hosted by Wallaces Farmer, the Farm Progress Show will be held in Boone, Iowa, Aug. 28-30.

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