Dennis Bowman, UI Extension
Aerial is the word as drones fly high above the Farm Progress Show, capturing the 90-acre exhibit field and more than 2.9 million square feet of exhibit space.
Bustling crowds are the hallmark of every Farm Progress Show, where more than 150,000 people from 42 states and over 50 countries will descend on Decatur, Ill., for three big days this year, Aug. 27-29.
Countries from around the world will be represented at the 2019 show, where more than 1,100 international visitors are estimated to attend from over 50 countries.
Drainage tiling pays, right? Look for 32 acres of pattern tiling demos this year, each day from noon to 1 p.m., plus a mock strike of a natural gas pipeline. Once you’re on-site, check the field demonstration map for the exact location.
Exhibitors and company representatives will be on hand to answer all your questions about new and old equipment alike.
FFA members will number more than 2,000 at the Farm Progress Show, where the future of agriculture is always welcome.
Grain storage is always a hot topic. Look for new construction from GSI and AGI.
Harvest demonstrations for corn showing the newest equipment are a highlight of the Farm Progress Show, and there are 150 acres set aside for live field demonstrations this year. Look for combine demos to start at 11 a.m. daily.
Illinois alumni are everywhere, and the University of Illinois Tent promises to show you there’s “more than meets the I” this year at their exhibit. Look inside to catch up with Illini alumni, staff and professors, and meet Kim Kidwell, dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
Juggling your events for the day is always a challenge, but the foldout map in the center of this year’s show program should make your day a little easier. Bonus: The daily event schedule is helpfully located on the back of the map.
Kids love the Farm Progress Show, and they have a knack for finding the best seat in the house.
Lunch — and plenty of it — can be found at food stands located in each of the four quadrants. Three are manned by Nelson’s Catering, and the fourth (in the southwest quadrant) is by Macon County 4-H. Check the full menu on Pages FPS106-107 in the show program.
Mobile apps are making every show easier to navigate, and you’ll want to download the official (and free) Farm Progress Show app before you go. Plus, check out Map Your Show at FarmProgressShow.com.
The nation’s largest outdoor farm show, the Farm Progress Show, has been recognized as No. 1 on the Trade Show News Network Top 250 Trade Show list. The show began as a way to demonstrate the latest farm equipment and has continued for 66 years, now with semi-permanent sites in Decatur, Ill., and Boone, Iowa.
Operating hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27, and Wednesday, Aug. 28, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29. Admission at the gate is $20 for adults and $10 for ages 13 to 17.
People come to the Farm Progress Show to watch, learn and ask questions. Once you’re on-site, look for daily programming at many exhibits, such as this one from 360 Yield Center.
The quest for the right products for your farm is never easy, but the Farm Progress Show editorial staff is there to help. Editors are assigned quadrants of the show grounds, and they visit every single booth to report on new products at the show. Look for favorites in the October issue, and for the new products series throughout the winter.
The Ride ’n’ Drive area allows you to test-drive new equipment. Ram Trucks, Agco and Titan Tire are all participating this year. Look for John Deere Gators in the expansion area, and the rest will be located north of the exhibit field by the tram loading area.
Soils judging contests bring in students from across Illinois and Indiana for a morning of fierce competition. Located on the northwest corner of the show grounds, the contest consists of four holes plus a practice pit. Keep your eyes peeled for these sharp kids!
Tillage demos are another highlight of the Farm Progress Show. After combines run across 150 acres, look for tillage demos at 2 p.m.
UAV technology, or drones, will be on display daily at 11 a.m., next to the corn harvest demonstrations. Look for more unmanned aerial vehicle technology and tools throughout the show site.
The Varied Industries Tent started out as an old 40-foot war surplus tent with a few booths. This year, look for two VITs housing nearly 50,000 square feet of exhibit space.
Watch “The Noon Show” with Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson, every day at noon on the ADM Stage in the Hospitality Building, located on Central Avenue.
Xylem Ltd. has an after-the-show deal for you, if you’re looking for mulch, mums and other landscaping materials at fire-sale prices. No, the Prairie Farmer sign isn’t for sale, but other landscape material sales will begin at 8 a.m. Aug. 30.
Young people from Decatur’s middle schools will again descend on the show to learn about agriculture, thanks to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
Zone-managed farming is the name of the game in the precision farming world. Check out the latest equipment and technology in the precision farming demonstrations, located near the field demos north of the exhibit field.