You come to the Farm Progress Show for many reasons. It's still the king of shows for new product introductions, and the site is less than a three-hour drive from downtown Indianapolis. But another reason to come is to see live demonstrations in the field, weather permitting of course.
This year field plots and demos will also give you a first-hand look at one of the hottest topics in farming: cover crops. An entire area will be devoted to them. Some 18 combinations will be planted at the site, and pits will be dug to check the rooting of these various combinations. You normally wouldn't plant cover crops in early July, but they're being planted so they will be the right height to talk about at the show.
The pits will be manned daily by experts who can answer any questions you might have about burning down, planting into, or simply growing cover crops.
The new feature will be coordinated by Mike Plumer, a former University of Illinois Extension specialist who farms in Illinois, and who now has become a leader in the cover crop movement. He will bring in other top experts in soil health, including Barry Fisher of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, based in Indianapolis, and members of the team of the Conservation Cropping Initiative in Indiana.
Indiana continues to be a leader across the country in demonstrating how cover crops can help achieve better soil health over time. The Farm Progress Show hopes that by giving people a first-hand look at the practice and its benefits, others will give the system a try.
Watch for articles here and in the magazine as the show approaches so you will know how to find the cover crop area. See you in Decatur!