Here’s the New Holland crew after just finishing corn harvesting at the Farm Science Review. I spoke to Mike Craig about what they found.
He says they had been running for two days and that they were getting between 130 to 150 bushels with 18 to 20% moisture.
I asked him what’s new from New Holland and he says it’s their 8 row corn head with stalk chopper on each row unit which he says, “Allows us to chop the stalk as the ear is being pulled off from it to help with the residue on the ground.” He says it’s on display at their exhibit. Mike also says he really enjoys the interaction with farmers at the show.
While I was visiting the Ohio Corn Growers exhibit at the Farm Science Review I had a nice talk with 5 time IHRA Funny Car Champion Mark Thomas. Here he is explaining his car to an FFA student.
Mark is not only a professional drag racer but a farmer himself. He has 500 Holstein cows and farms 2,200 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. You’d think that would be enough to keep him busy!
One of his passions is ethanol. He basically grows his own fuel and has had a mission to help educate the public about this renewable energy source. So that’s part of his message here at the show. I asked him about how his farm business was going. He says that the past year or so has been pretty good but it’s basically making up for years that weren’t so good. However, he says that there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future and with the problems lately in financial markets there’s good reason to wonder.
He says the question he gets asked most often standing by his funny car is, “How much horse power?” It’s got 3,000 HP and goes from zero to 250 mph in 5.7 seconds! Of course he runs on ethanol and he says the car uses just over a gallon of ethanol per second.
The Ohio Corn Growers Association have a nice building on the grounds of the Farm Science Review. One of their board members has been involved with it for many years. He’s Ron Rockhold, pictured on the right. Ron says he farms in southern Fayette County and has been on the board for going on 20 years. He spends one day working in the exhibit and one day with his brother “taking in the sights.”
Ron says this show is a great thing for agriculture. He says the message they’re trying to get across to growers is what’s happening with legislation, especially the farm bill and the rfs standard. In fact, he says, “. . . talking about the RFS which is even more important than the farm bill because it increases the demand for corn and has raised the price of corn to where farmers are getting their money from the market now instead of from the government.” That’s something he says he’s always wanted to see.
Harvesting corn and soybeans isn’t the only field demonstration you’ll see at the Farm Science Review. There’s also a section devoted to precision agriculture.
I went out to the field when these got started and spoke with John Deere’s Jamie Bultemeier (pictured on the left). He was conducting a precision tillage demonstration. Jamie’s an agronomist by training so he focuses on crop production as it relates to seeding, tillage, sprayers and GPS equipment.
In his demonstration he was tying two of those together. He says they have a John Deere 2510S strip till rig being guided by John Deere RTK sub inch accuracy steering to allow for repeatable planting next spring. After running down a row a little ways he stopped to talk with farmers and they commented on how moist the ground was even though there had been little rain of late.
Questions he gets asked a lot include, “How should I set it? What fertilizer should I use? What kind of attachments should I put on?” He says he’s spoken with about an equal number of farmers who are using the technology and those who aren’t yet.
You can listen to my interview with Jamie here:
I also caught Jamie doing an end of the row run during his demonstration which you can watch here:
I think this year’s Farm Science Review has had the best weather of any farm show I’ve ever attended. Of course they had to go through some nail-biting times just prior to the show when the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through. In this week’s show I talk with show manager, Chuck Gamble. He says he’s all about promoting agriculture. In fact, he received one of the new Honorary Farm Broadcaster awards from ABN Radio on the opening day.
One of the new things at the show this year is the re-naming of Chemical Ave. to Conservation Ave. He says this was done “to honor (farmers) who I call the ultimate conservationists.”
Another new feature of the show is a “wireless internet cloud.” Chuck says that they didn’t have cable out to the show site but this year they laid in fiber optic and put up over 50 small towers around the exhibit area. It’s fast, reliable and everywhere. So besides us media types, exhibitors now have a new resource.
I’d love to see other farm shows adopt this type of infrastructure at their permanent sites.
The program this week ends with music from the Podsafe Music Network. Since I just attended a swine health seminar you get to listen to “Rocket Science” from Brain Buckit. I hope you enjoy it and thank you for listening.
You can download and listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast 187 (15 min MP3)
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Speaking of corn, how about soybeans? They were also ready to harvest here locally at the Farm Science Review.
Mid afternoon a selection of combines like this one from New Holland sprang into action in front of the crowd. I didn’t get any data on the crop but it looked pretty good. Although we had some rain early in the week prior to the show things have dried up again enough for it to be very dusty in the fields.
The Roush Ford F-150 on display at the Ohio Propane Gas Association exhibit here at the Farm Science Review is the big draw. With high diesel prices it’s easy to understand why.
On hand to talk about it is Roush Vehicle Marketing Coordinator, Taylor Bloor. He drove the vehicle down from Michigan. It’s a bright white truck that runs on liquid propane injection. He says you can go to any Ford dealer to order one. Basically, you buy the truck then have Roush customize it for you or you can order a kit to do it yourself.
The vehicles cost more upfront because of the fuel conversion but you make up for it he says in lower fuel costs. For example, at current prices, if you drive 15,000 miles per year you’ll make back the cost in 4 years. If you drive 30,000 miles/year it would only take two. The fuel is much cleaner burning and helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
I had Taylor take us on a video tour of the truck which you can watch here:
You can also listen to the tour of the truck here:
The new President of the Ohio Propane Gas Association is Kent Witt, Hi-Grade Oil Co. He says they’re a supplier of propane. He became President just last month.
Kent says their basically the voice of propane marketers and that you can learn more by coming out and talking with them. He says farmers will find all the propane powered equipment they would be interested in including a lot of heaters and drying equipment.
He mentioned that farmers can find out more at AgPropane.com. He’s pictured here next to a display on using propane to control weeds.
The second woman to become President of the Ohio Propane Gas Association was Jane Newton, pictured on the left of the propane powered corn popper here at the Farm Science Review. She is a propane marketer with a family business. Jane was President of OPGA in 2000.
She says their exhibit has just about every kind of propane appliance known to man. I caught up with her just as she was taking some chocolate chip cookies out of a propane powered oven.
When it comes to farmers she says the biggest drawing point has been the Roush Ford F-150 they have on display. She says, “They like the look of the truck. They like the cost of the truck and the cost of the fuel since it’s a lot less than diesel right now.” She says she’s thinking about getting one for their business since they haven’t had a propane powered vehicle in their fleet for a while. I’ll have more on the truck coming up later in my coverage.
One of the people bringing technology to farmers in the field here at the Farm Science Review is Agrow/Dekalb Field Advisor, Troy Putnam (pictured on the Monsanto Mobile Greenhouse).
Troy says that the exhibit is helping promote the Roundup Ready 2 Yield launch. He describes it as second generation technology that will be in the Asgrow line. Farmers, he says, have seen great yield increases in corn over the years and they have been looking for the same in soybeans. “Roundup Ready 2 Yield will raise that bar and you’ve heard the numbers 7-11% in some of our research trials. We’re so excited about it that we’ll have a couple million acres in the launch for 2009.” Troy says there’s a plan in place to distribute out different varieties to various regions based on maturity, soybean volume and demand of the current Roundup Ready line.
When it comes to advantages of the new technology he says it will mean more beans per plant. An example he sites is that if you plant 180,000 plants/acre and get just one more bean per plant then you’ll have one additional bushel of yield for that acre. So increasing the number of beans on the plant has a major impact on yield.
Troy also talks about their Mobile Greenhouse which he says takes farmers through the process of looking at conventional beans through Roundup beans.
I spoke with Farm Science Review exhibit coordinator Tracey Lemmon, seen here in one of the propane powered vehicles they have on display. His company installs propane systems for marketers. He says they have quite a list of products for farmers to look at. It includes, water heaters, ranges, stove tops, refrigerators, freezers, vehicles, portable heaters, fireplaces, overhead infrared tube heaters, torpedo heaters, gas grills, garage heaters, smokers, fish cookers . . . Just about everything that runs on propane!
Tracey says they put up the building about 10 years ago and this year he was really glad to have it since the weather was disastrous prior to the show opening. However, their building didn’t have any damage.
He says the show has started out great and that farmers are not only looking at agricultural applications of propane but also others since they’re consumers with homes as well.
Monsanto has their traveling mobile greenhouse on location here at the Farm Science Review. It’s filled with plants at various stages of growth and has been receiving a lot of traffic.
The unit is 28 feet long and showcases Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans. The mobile green house is a unique way to show the benefits of the new technology. Farmers also have a chance to get entered into a contest to win a family dream vacation worth $8,000. There’s also a short video illustrating the science behind the seed. I walked through the display yesterday and you can see it here.
It seemed like the ABN Show midday here at the Farm Science Review. The BARN has a nice barn. Here’s Andy and Lindsay just before their big announcement today.
Basically, ABN is partnering with WOSU Radio and will be relocating their studios to WOSU facilities in Columbus in early 2009.
It seems like WOSU grew so much that they had to move into new studios opening up this opportunity for ABN. WOSU is the University of Ohio radio station.
You can hear Andy’s comments at their press conference here:
You can hear Lindsay’s comments here:
Also on hand to commemorate the announcement was University of Ohio President, Dr. E. Gordon Gee. He said this was an exciting day for him since ABN Radio founder (deceased), Ed Johnson, was his friend and he knows that Ed would be proud of this announcement and to see Andy and Lindsay carry on his legacy.
Another day, off to another farm show. After Cindy and I got in to St. Louis last night we re-grouped and re-packed. She’s going to be attending an event for Agrotain in St. Louis today while I’m on my way to Columbus, OH and the Farm Science Review.
I’ll get in early this afternoon and probably start posting later today. 2008 Features at a Glance
* This is the 46th Farm Science Review, the 26th at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center.
* Hundreds of demonstration plots and several million dollars worth of machinery.
* Nineteenth-year inductions into the Farm Science Review Hall of Fame.
* Ohio Farmer Conservation Awards; Thursday at 11:30.
* OSU Central, featuring demonstrations and displays from OSU colleges and departments.
* Lots of farm safety, home safety and health information.
* Global Positioning Systems (GPS) hands-on demonstrations in the demonstration fields.
* Expanded programs on conservation practices in the Gwynne Conservation Area.
* An arts and crafts exhibit tent.
* Permanent washroom facilities with diaper changing stations.
Harvesting, strip-tilling, global positioning, and tillage demonstrations will take place every day. Check the schedule for demonstration times.
We expect to completely fill the commercial exhibit area this year, with about 600 exhibitors from all over North America in the Central Exhibit Area.