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What Do You Look at When at Farm Shows?

What Do You Look at When at Farm Shows?
Observing farmers reveals varied interests.


Attending the farm show held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds at Indianapolis last week with a group of farmers proved an interesting experience. If you live in certain parts of the state, you may get a chance to visit a farm show before the big Louisville show in February. Otherwise, that might be your next opportunity. What will you look at? Why do you go?

Big equipment always seems to command a look, whether there's ever any intention of buying something that big or not. The super-wide bean heads and 12-row cornheads, especially from shortline manufacturers at the show, seemed to garner special attention.

It's obvious everyone wants something they can work on easier and faster. A cornhead with the reputation for being able to adjust or replace gathering chains very quickly got a special look. If the company selling it thinks it's a feature, they'll likely have a corn snout popped up and a row exposed so you can get a closer look.

Used semi tractors from a company offering refurbished units got careful scrutiny. Some thought the price on a rig with over 500,000 miles, nearly $40,000, was too high. What do you look at when checking out a used truck? Farmers in this group went basic, down to how easily the cab door opened, and what the interior looked like.

Big grain carts command attention. If you're into convenience, there are the models with unloading augers that move. That also means a lot more hydraulic hoses on the unit. Or there's the more basic model still available with a fixed unloading auger.

Seed movers of all kinds got a look, from ones that use conveyors to deliver seed from the hopper to the planter, to ones that are basically carriers for seed boxes. The number on the market is growing. Some thought one model was too tall for easy travel on their road. Others thought price tags made their simple gravity wagon and shortline auger attachment still look good.

This group also paid attention to small things, from power washer hoses to automatic grease guns, considered a good investment by some in the group, to a new-style ceramic heater big enough to heat a decent-sized shop, running off either diesel or kerosene, or both. Apparently only two companies in the world make these new-style heaters, and they're a bit pricey, from roughly $1,100 to $1,700, depending upon company and model.

They're also hot to the touch, at least the housing is, even after they're shut off for a while. And there's no indication they are hot- no coloring to warn you. I accidentally touched one on display that I didn't even know had been run earlier. It was off when I got to the booth. Yet it was hot enough I remembered touching it the rest of the day!

So why do you go? Each appears to have his own reason. I think next time I'll buy a cheap pair of gloves at one of the wholesale tools an d more displays before I visit booths selling heaters! Guys, put signs on those things to warn curious, not –so-smart visitors like me!

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