Now that we’re well into June, the farm show season is about to kick into high gear. Every year the major shows highlight the cutting edge innovations about to hit the ag equipment market. And in past years, there has been an avalanche of them. Although with the slowdown in machinery sales that started last year, it’s hard to say if those innovations will still come as fast and furiously.
Nevertheless, hitting the shows is a great way to keep tabs on what is happening in the industry whatever the pace of new introductions.
My email inbox is already starting to fill up with press announcements from a variety of brands with new things intended to dazzle and amaze farmers. Of course, you’ll get a chance to read about many of them in pages of Grainews in the coming months as we take a close look at them.
Starting on Tuesday, the 14th, Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina opens its doors. Historically, it’s been the event of choice for most prairie-based equipment manufacturers to unveil their new products. There has been no end of new seeding equipment debut there over the years.
There is also a new kid on the block in the ag show world, the Ag in Motion show just outside Saskatoon, which was born last year. This year it runs from July 19 to 21. The beauty of this event is it follows closely in the footsteps of its sister event, Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, which is held in Woodstock, Ontario. That show is held in a rural area and focuses strongly on practical demonstrations. This year it kicks off on September 13.
Ag in Motion sticks with that rural location and hands-on theme, which lets producers see machines in action. It’s a much better way to evaluate what they can do than just seeing them on display. And after all, we current and former farmers feel pretty comfortable out in the fields, right?
This year Grainews gets in on the act at Ag in Motion as well. Because that show is owned by our parent company, we at the magazine we given a chance to use the grounds and facilities to conduct our own real-world evaluations. This year, we chose to compare a number of models in the current crop of side-by-side UTVs, which are gaining popularity with farmers.
We have 10 machines from eight different manufacturers lined up to participate. We’ll put them through their paces doing exactly the kinds of things farmers make them do: carry loads, pull trailers and slog through the mud.
We’ll do the evaluations ahead of the public show days at Ag in Motion, then the machines will be put on display at our booth. One or more of the judges will be on hand for part of each day to answer questions about the testing. Some of the brands will have marketing reps there too, so you can learn a lot about the machines we tested if you stop by.
If you aren’t going to be at the show, the October issue of Grainews will have a full report on the testing and the results. If you are thinking of buying a UTV for your farm, be sure to check out the results.