Every farm show seems to have its own character, from the smallest regional one to the mega event Agritechnica that happens ever second year in Germany. As it happens, Agritechnica will open its doors to the public again this November for what I’m sure will be another spectacular event.
It’s a mammoth show that invites the world. There’s really nothing else like it. And everyone in agriculture should take it in at east once in his or her lifetime. Aside from getting a chance to see what the 2,900 or so exhibitors that pack the grounds to capacity have to display, which represent machinery manufacturers from all around the globe, where else can you check out cool equipment, drink beer, eat sausage and listen to oompah-pah bands?
But smaller regional shows are worth taking in as well. Brandon’s Manitoba Ag Days, which was held last week, is one I always like to make sure I always get to. Like Agritechnica, it’s an indoor event. And in January in Manitoba, that’s a very good thing.
The Brandon show doesn’t include the kind of cutting-edge technology Agritechnica does, and it really isn’t fair to even compare the two. (Maybe, if you consider Manitoba farmer Matt Reimer showed up in 2016 with his own system to convert an ag tractor to autonomous control, it might not even be fair to say there isn’t cutting-edge, futuristic technology on display there too.)
But the reason I like Ag Days is because of the smaller gems of innovation that inventors bring to it.
For example, this year the Wilde brothers from Cudworth, Saskatchewan, displayed an air pressure gauge with a face designed specifically to help producers tell at a glance if they’re getting enough airflow through an aeration bin. By being able to just look at the gauge face with indicators that provide data specific to the job, it saves trying to do math in your head or figure out what an ordinary PSI indication might mean for that bin. So it saves a ton of time and head scratching.
Phil Friesen and his son Derek from Crystal City, Manitoba, brought their chemical mixing system designed to make tank mixing for sprayers a simpler process. Putting finicky chemical combinations into the tank in the wrong order could cause a lot of trouble. Then there was the hydraulic combine cylinder-reversing wrench, the in-pasture calf catcher and, well, you get the picture.
It’s a show that always seems to offer new solutions to get the little stuff done in an easier and faster way. Often its streamlining the day-to-day chores that really make life easier and ad to a farm’s productivity. As far as I’m concerned, any farmer can appreciate inventions that do that just as much as a very expensive and high-tech machine with shiny paint.