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Ag Progress Days: Where family and farming's future meet

Ag Progress Days: Where family and farming's future meet

Next week's Ag Progress Days is a farm/family business trip worth taking to explore future opportunities with new crops, cover crops and more.

With close to 450 exhibitors from 34 states and 4 provinces of Canada plus an ag college research showcase of best management practices, Penn State University's Ag Progress Days has something of great benefit for all in agriculture. The event runs from Tuesday, Aug. 18 through Thursday, Aug. 20, at the Russell Larson Ag Research Center south of State College, Pa.

Corn silage chopper demonstrations will be back this year, says APD Show Manager Bob Oberheim. "That'll be followed by cover crop drills and cover crop planters.

"We'll also have drone demonstrations near the ride-and-drive area. Several companies marketing them will be exhibiting," he adds.

NEW TECH ON DISPLAY: Dealers and tech experts with state-of-technology equipment will cover the exhibit field for your perusal and questions.

Intense interest in cover crops will pull many visitors to the conservation area where a number of cover crop combinations are planted. Agronomic information on them will also be available at the site and in the Agronomy Tent.

Oberheim also notes that the grazing demonstration area will have a new composting center. Bus tours to many outlying research plots also run daily at specified times. (See below.)

Special events
At 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, Pennsylvania Ag Secretary Russell Redding and Penn State's Ag Sciences Dean Rick Roush will host a town meeting on the state of the ag industry in APD's Theatre. At 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in the Special Events Building, a panel discussion will address Ag's Future: economic development, education and training opportunities.

Also on Wednesday morning, a joint House and Senate Ag Committee meeting will be open the public in the Theatre beginning at 10 a.m. Here's a list of other topics and times to be covered in the Theatre:

NOT JUST FOR DADS: Ag Progress Days holds many opportunities for Moms and Dads to enthuse their children with farming's future and its tools.

Tuesday, Aug. 18
•9:45 a.m.: Precision dairy tech: What's available
•12:45 p.m.: Avian influenza: protecting backyard flocks
•1:30 p.m.: BMPs for backyard poultry
•2:45 p.m.: Small-scale poultry processing

Wednesday, Aug. 19
•1 p.m.: Feeding options for Holstein beef
•1:30 p.m.: Converting dairy facilities to beef
•2:15 p.m.: BMPs for backyard poultry
•3 p.m.: Feeding options for Holstein beef
•3:30 p.m.: Converting dairy facilities to beef

Thursday, Aug. 20
•9:45 a.m.: Dairy margin management with low milk prices
•10:30 a.m.: Herd dynamics: Can you afford to cull?
•11:15 a.m.: Follicles, GnRH and the modern cow
•12:45 p.m.: Impact of corn silage management on dairy cash flow
•1:30 p.m.: Robotic milking systems in Pennsylvania

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LIVE ACTION: Nothing draws spectators more than new machines running in demonstration areas. While haying equipment is back, corn silage chopping returns as the feature field demonstration.

Field demonstrations
Here's the schedule for field demonstrations of new equipment. Major equipment companies will have units working under actual planting conditions.
•10:30 a.m.: Alfalfa hay mowing
•11:30 a.m.: Corn silage chopping
•12:30 p.m.: Cover crop planting
•2 p.m.: Hay raking and tedding
•2:30 p.m.: High-moisture alfalfa hay baling
•3:30 p.m.: Bale handling

Daily ride-and-drive demonstrations are back again, featuring state-of-art sprayers and tractors for larger-scale operations.

Free research tours
Daily research bus tours will leave the show site at 2 p.m. for a special Agronomy Farm visit to see plots of high-oleic oil soybeans, which has already begun to revolutionize the soy oil industry. For more details, see Major Soybean Shift Getting Underway and FDA's trans fat change leaves time for high-oleic soy ramp-up .

The tour will also feature variety trials of non-GMO soybeans, high-yielding Roundup Ready and Liberty Link soybeans. And, researchers will discuss mushroom compost as a sustainable soil amendment for forage crops – versus traditional fertilizer.

Other tours will give you a glimpse of research projects focusing on topics such as high-density livestock grazing, woodlot management, deer and wildlife habitat management, pasture feeding technologies, short rotation woody crops for biomass feedstocks, establishing stream riparian buffers and native prairie grasses and woodlot management. One tour will take visitors to Penn State's Deer Research Center near the University Park campus.

Tour bus schedules vary, so check out the times for each day at the following website. All tours require free tickets available at the corn crib on Main Street, near the site's headquarters farm house.

For more APD details, click on Ag Progress Days .

So put the dates on your planner. Then set your GPS for 2710 West Pine Grove Road, Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa. and start your engine.

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