Farm Progress

UAVs, high-speed planting, combines, tillage, precision ag and more

August 27, 2015

4 Min Read

A highlight for visitors coming to the Farm Progress Show is heading out to the watch the field demonstrations. The 62nd annual Farm Progress Show is scheduled for Sept. 1, 2 and 3 in Decatur, Ill. Along with the standard combining and tillage demonstrations, the Farm Progress Show will also feature new types of demonstrations this year.

UAV demonstrations

New at the Farm Progress Show this year will be UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) demonstrations. Demos will start at 9 a.m. The demo area is on the south side of exhibit field near the new South Varied Industries Tent, which is where the majority of companies will exhibit their technology. Visitors can see UAV demonstrations and exhibitor will address the audience and describe the features of the machines and their technology. Show attendees can visit exhibitors at their tent or booth to learn more and see close up views of the camera and software output of the UAV. Flights will be held each show day, weather permitting.

High-speed planting

High-speed planters are a hot topic in the agriculture world. Both John Deere and Precision Planting introduced technology that allows farmers to plant accurately up to 10 miles per hour. In late July, John Deere and Precision Planting planted plots that will be available for visitors to check out during the show. The goal of these plots is to show the accuracy of the technology at the higher rate of speed.

If you are interested in seeing one or both of these technologies in action, visit with company personnel at their exhibits on the grounds.  

Corn combines

Corn harvest is slated for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CDT each day. If all runs according to schedule, each company representative will comment about their combine, grain cart or other piece of machinery before they demonstrate it in the field. 

Weather allowed corn to be planted in a timely manner this spring and, weather permitting during the show days, the corn will be mature and ready for harvest.

Tillage tools

Tillage tools and other special machines will operate each day from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. CDT. Tillage tools demonstrated will range from deep rippers to conventional chisel plows and vertical tillage tools. Company representatives will be on hand to answer any questions that visitors may have about their equipment.

Once again, there will be a class for tools that want to run faster to show what they can do. The vertical tillage tools typically work better when run at 7 to 9 miles per hour. Show organizers will divide the tillage tools into two classes by speed of operation. Each company will be able to operate their tool in the desired speed range.

Precision tools

Precision agriculture demonstrations return to the Farm Progress Show and will share space with the standard field demonstrations. These demonstrations will be located north of the exhibit site and include auto-guidance, strip tillage and other precision farming innovations. Demonstrations will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Ride 'n drive

Ride ‘n drive areas will also be provided for companies that want to show equipment to potential customers up close and personal. This will occur in a designated area noted on the map, and will be available anytime during show hours. Yamaha, Ram Trucks, Chevrolet, Honda, Trimble, Mitas Tire and Titan Tire are all participating in Ride ‘n drive. Honda and Yamaha will be in the new expansion area, and the rest will be located north of the exhibit field by tram loading.

Cover crops

Cover crops were just growing in popularity during the 2013 Farm Progress Show and have continued to gain momentum over the last two years. This year, the cover crop area is included in the new section of the expanded show grounds, inside the fence in the southwest corner of the site.

Mike Plumer, one of the premier researchers and innovators on farming with cover crops, will head up the FPS demonstration. The demo area will showcase 18 to 20 types of cover crops. The wide variety of cover crops will showcase using them for different purposes including grazing, recovering nitrogen, producing nitrogen and helping mitigate the effects of soil compaction. Cover crop specialists will be on hand to answer questions and show different plots as visitors walk and talk about cover crops.

Tiling demos

Tiling demonstrations will again be operated by the Land Improvement Contractor’s Association. As long as weather permits plans call for tiling 40 acres during the show this year. The field will be located directly across the road running on the north side of Tent City. 

Daily demonstrations are scheduled for noon to 1 p.m. CDT., weather permitting. 


Plan to attend

The 2015 Farm Progress Show takes place east of Decatur, Ill., September 1, 2 and 3. The exhibit field is open to visitors 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. The public is welcome. For a full schedule of events, tickets and more detailed show information, visit

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