Anyone who has read this column knows that I like a good farm show and I get to a few every year (being owned by a company dedicated to farm shows doesn't hurt), and when I can I enjoy a trip to the Farm Progress Hay Expo. Why? Let me count the ways.
First, this show is focused on hay, forage and feed-making. And focus is a good thing when it comes to the rising complexity of equipment that farmers deploy for this important chore.
Second, plenty of equipment is at work. This show may have a great exhibit field, but often equipment is leaving that area and heading out for a demonstration. You can see the big cutters chop hay for forage, check out mower/conditioners, windrow mergers and other tools. And see balers in action. It's a great way to evaluate new tools for your farm.
Third, the compact nature of the show means in one day you can really get a lot of information, and these days who isn't looking for efficiency.
If you're planning on coming to the show, we're offering a few tools worth checking out. You can now "map your show" which means you can look at the exhibitors you want to see and our online tool will help you figure out the best way to see everyone in the day.
The interactive map can also help you find companies by the products they exhibit - looking for a tedder? The system can pull up a list of all the exhibitors with tedders. Or if you're seeking cattle feeding equipment, the interactive search can help you find those as well.
Access to the Central Iowa Expo for the show is easy -just off Highway 30 west of Ames before you get to Boone. And there's plenty of parking. The show is free, parking is $10. Learn a lot more at www.HayExpo.com. And you can see an update - including a look at the forage crop - in the video I've added to this page.