Farm expo scraps field demonstrations
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Farm Progress Show host farmer Marc Padrutt shows a sample from a demonstration field that has not matured enough for harvest in Decatur.
DECATUR — This year's Farm Progress Show will be missing a key ingredient: field demonstrations.
The unseasonably cool summer weather delayed the growth of corn planted for the show in mid-May, the Herald & Review reported. That means that there won't be demonstrations showing how the latest equipment performs at harvest.
Thousands of people usually attend what's billed as the nation's largest outdoor farm show, to be held next week in Decatur, and spend time following the machinery to judge how it performs in the field.
"It's a huge disappointment," said Marc Padrutt, one of the host farmers. "These were the conditions we were dealt. It's out of our hands."
Padrutt says harvesting the demo crop early won't offer farmers a realistic demonstration of machinery being displayed by vendors. Host farmers anticipate harvest will start on the 96-day hybrid corn in a few weeks.
Instead, the expo will hold a runway show to let vendors showcase their machines.
"They're going to strut their equipment in front of the crowd," said show manager Matt Jungmann.
Organizers say it's the first time in the show's 60-year-old history that fields haven't been ready for harvest. They've had to cancel field demonstrations before because of wet conditions.
The show runs from Aug. 27-29.
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