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Harvest demonstrations always a highlight

With corn and soybean harvest being on the minds of many growers this time of year, being able to see new harvesting methods and tools up close at this year’s Farm Science Review Sept. 17-19 is a valuable opportunity that could save growers significant expenses, an agronomist from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences said.

For more than 50 years, Farm Science Review field demonstrations have allowed farmers to go out and see farm equipment run side-by-side, said Harold Watters, an Ohio State University Extension agronomy field specialist and coordinator of the university’s Agronomic Crops Team.

And with recent advances in precision planting technology, the opportunity to see the demonstrations and learn new harvesting, manure and tillage techniques is a significant benefit for growers, said Watters, who is also a coordinator of the agronomic field crops demonstrations at the Review.

“The corn harvest is what everyone is thinking about right now,” he said. “Corn is such a big crop in Ohio, at 3.5 million acres, and 150 bushels per acre is a lot to manage.

“So for farmers to be able to see the equipment working in the field is worth a million dollars. Farmers will stand there and critique the tools on every pass, so having that chance to see the equipment running side by side is a valuable opportunity for them.”

Demonstrating tools and new techniques — from GPS to tillage tools to no-till planters and combines — side-by-side and under the same field conditions can help farmers makes good comparisons, Watters said.

“Farmers have learned the value of precision planting and precision harvest, and some farmers are looking to see the next level in equipment and techniques,” he said. “Also, nutrient management is of concern for growers as you look at the discussions we’ve had for the last couple of years regarding phosphorus and nitrogen.

“There are new tools available that can help growers place manure below the soil surface and can help them apply it during the spring when the crops need it, versus applications in the fall, which is when 90% of manure is typically applied.”

The demonstrations are performed on a series of crop demonstration plots established outside the eastern edge of the Review exhibit area, between the main grounds and the parking lot. The plots are just outside Gate C near the main entrance gate.

The daily field demonstrations include:

  • Corn harvest, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
  • GPS guidance/auto steer systems, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Strip till/no-till equipment, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Manure application equipment, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Tillage equipment, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
  • Soybean harvest, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

These field demonstrations are just a sampling of some of the opportunities participants can experience during the three-day farm trade show that annually draws more than 130,000 farmers, growers, producers and agricultural enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada.

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