There is one place where you can see machines of various colors, sizes and designs run side-by-side. It's in the field demonstrations at the 2015 Farm Progress Show. Working demonstrations are planned each day during the show, slated for Sept. 1, 2 and 3 near Decatur,. Ill.
"We're looking forward to a good year for demonstrations," says Matt Jungmann, director of farm shows. "Everyone with equipment wanting to show how it works in the field will be itching to get going and let you see it."
Delayed planting led to wet corn and interfered with the demonstration schedule at the 2013 show in Decatur. All corn was planted by tax day, April 15, this year, Jungmann says. The area has fared better than many areas in terms of too much water during the growing season.
While some warm, sunny days leading up to the show would help, Jungmann is very optimistic that corn will be harvested and fields will be tilled during this year's show.
At 11 a.m. CDT sharp each morning, combines will have their hour of glory, notes Ed Harris, who will be working on behalf of the show staff with equipment companies to make sure that demonstrations go smoothly. Harris and other show personnel typically meet with equipment operators who will be running machines in the field the day before the show to finalize plans and make sure everyone understands the rules and need to practice safety in the field.
If weather conditions will play a role in the demonstrations, or if crop maturity causes changes in the planned schedule, it will be worked out during this meeting, When it's time to run combines, each operator will be ready to roll. Drivers with grain carts will pick up grain from the machines
Each company exhibiting at the show with a combine or corn head is entitled to participate in the combine demonstrations if they choose, Jungmann says. Only corn will be harvested during the show.
Before each combine runs the first time, a company representative will have an opportunity to explain the features of the machine, Harris notes. Once the combines have each run one time, they will run without stopping until they have harvested the acres set aside for that day's harvest. Combine demonstrations are scheduled to run from 11 a.m. CDT to 1 p.m.. CDT.
Tiling demonstrations are scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. Learn more about tiling demonstrations on page xx.
Tractors of all descriptions pulling almost every kind of tillage tool imaginable take center stage form 2 p.m. CDT to 3 p.m. CDT each day. A large number of tillage tools, ranging from disks to chisel plows to vertical tillage tools and specialty tillage tools, are expected to run each day.
At one time tillage tools were separated by type of tool. Today the bigger factor is how fast the tool needs to run. 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, Harris says. Each company will be able to operate their tool in the desired speed range.
"We want to emphasize allowing visitors to see what it looks like after each tool runs this year," Jungmann explains. While Harris says those details are still to be finalized, it may involve staggering how far tools run on the first pass, and then letting visitors check out performance behind each tool.
After the first pass, as with the combines, the tillage tools will run without stopping until the acreage designated for that day is tilled.
Safety rules aren't just important for drivers, company personnel and show staff. It's paramount for visitors too. That's where you can help. Be sure to obey all instructions from FPS staff in charge of the field demonstrations. It's their call as to when it's safe for a machine to run and everyone is safely out of the way.
Trams will be available for those who have trouble walking to the field. They will run continuously during demonstration times. The trams will load and unload at the north end of Central Avenue.
Safety is also important on the trams. Be sure to keep all hands and feet inside the tram, and to enter or exit only when the tram is stopped for pickup or delivery of passengers.
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.
Precision farming and UAV demonstrations are also planned. UAV demos are slated for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and precision farming demos from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check with the company whose product you want to see in the lot for exact location of their demo.
Check with the company of your choice to see if they have equipment in this display area.
Note the field layout and tentative schedule on the map. Should the demonstration schedule change, new information will be posted in convenient locations.
See you in the field!