Farmers from every state and 50 countries will descend on Decatur, Ill., next week for the 62nd annual Farm Progress Show. The show runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept.1-2, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 3. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children ages 13-17.
"The eyes of the world for agriculture will turn to Decatur next week," says Don Tourte, market leader for Penton Agriculture, the Farm Progress Show's organizer.
What awaits visitors is a newly expanded exhibit field, further cementing Farm Progress Show's place as the largest trade show in the United States, says Penton Events Manager Matt Jungmann.
Responding to a record number of exhibitors, show organizers added another 400,000 square feet of exhibit space on the southwest edge of the field, with three streets named for the traditional states the show covers: Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.
"We now have over 90 acres inside the fence, the biggest exhibit field footprint we've ever had," says Jungmann. The expanded field includes a new Varied Industry Tent, with several Unmanned Aerial Vehicle exhibits. Eleven companies will take part in a UAV demonstration each day from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The expansion area also includes double-cropped soybeans, a plot organized by the Illinois Soybean Association.
"The expansion allowed us to bring some outside activities into the field, such as ride-n-drive demonstrations," says Jungmann. "That's one reason we added fire hydrants, for dust control."
The west side of the expansion field provides a new entry, gate 10, which should relieve some foot traffic from other entry points.
For more information on how to navigate the show, pick up a copy of the official show program once you're on site, or better, download the Farm Progress Show 2015 app for your smart phone. This tool allows you to map out your day's visit and make sure you hit all the exhibitors you came to see.
One of the show's most favorite attractions – field demonstrations – are set to return this year, after two years of weather-related cancellations.
In early harvest action, short season corn (mainly 94-day hybrids) averaged around 200 bushels per acre yield at 22% moisture. "That's an excellent yield considering the rains we had, but it was cool during pollination," says Jungmann.
Besides the traditional field demos you'll also see a speed planting plot, where crops were planted at 5.5 mph, 7 mph and 10 mph.
Country music star Craig Morgan will entertain concert-goers at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2, with the Eric Burgett Band opening at 5:30 p.m. Burgett, now located in Nashville, hails from the Decatur area. Tickets can be purchased at the concert gate, the hospitality tent near the center of the show, or online at farmprogressshow.com.
See more photos of this week's action at Progress City in Decatur, Ill. >>
In pre-show grain harvest on Aug. 26, farmers were seeing good yields directly across from the show site.
A six-man crew from the Macon County Highway Department makes quick work of this patch job at the Farm Progress Show site in Decatur, Ill. The 2015 show will open next Tuesday Sept. 1.
Tons of wood chips were being dumped and raked this week as the Farm Progress Show site gets a final grooming before show time next Tuesday.
Engineers at grain handling equipment maker Sukup were busy building a grain leg at the Farm Progress Show site.