Cover crops, a tiling demonstration and an exhibit field annex – there's a lot of new things to see at the 2013 Farm Progress Show, which kicks off in just over four weeks.
First things first: this will be the first year a cover crop demonstration will be part of the show. It will be located just outside of the fence on the south side of the exhibit field. To get there, walk south down Central Progress Avenue until you leave the show grounds. Once you pass through the gate, look to your right.
Mike Plumer, coordinator for the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices, is heading up the effort. As soon as the wheat comes of the demo field, Plumer will plant a variety of cover crops, including annual ryegrass, cereal rye, oats, crimson clover, hairy vetch, radishes and numerous mixtures.
We realize most cover crop species aren't intended for mid-summer planting. To give folks an accurate look at the different options, we've arranged for irrigation to boost growth.
The plot will be open during show hours. An expert will always be on hand to answer questions and give tours.
Given cover crops' meteoric rise in popularity, we expect plenty of growers will pick the experts' brains on a variety of topics like geographic suitability, cover crop goals, fitting them into a rotation, proper termination and planting strategies.
Along with cover crops, show goers will be able to see something else that hasn't been featured in a recent Farm Progress Show – a tiling demo.
This spring, the Illinois Chapter of the Land Improvement Contractors Association installed a 1-mile-long, 15-inch-diameter mainline that runs across the combine demonstration fields. At the show, LICA is partnering with Richland Community College to tie in laterals on 40 acres.
The demonstration will take place outside the show gates, near the combine demonstration fields. Walk northwest out of the show grounds to see the demo.
At this point, we do not have firm times on the tiling demos. However, it will take place all three days of the show. As the show nears, check out www.farmprogressshow.com for more details.
More exhibit space
Two years ago every bit of exhibit space was sold at Progress City in Decatur. This year, we've sold out again, plus some.
To accommodate the additional exhibitors, we're creating an annex, just outside the main gate, which is the west edge of the exhibit field. The annex will feature more than 100 exhibitors.
Here's the best part: the annex will be open before the show gates open. For those looking to beat the 8 a.m. crowd, now there's something to see prior to the gates opening.
As the clock ticks down, check out the website for a full exhibitor listing.
The corn went in on May 15. Maturities range from 96 to 99 days.
Harvesting on Aug. 27-29 means we'll likely be picking some wet corn. Don't worry though, as long as the weather holds, we'll pick it, even if it's still green.
Just a reminder, on two of the three days, combines will run on twin-row corn. The last day is standard 30-inch rows.
Show goers will get to see harvesting technology from eight companies: Deere, Case, New Holland, Challenger, Massey Ferguson, Gleaner, Lexion and Versatile.
The last time corn went in late, we had record crowds. Late show corn typically means no one else is ready to harvest.
We look forward to seeing everyone at Decatur. Remember to look us up on Facebook and Twitter. See you on Aug. 27!