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Farm Show Sets Record Despite Drought

Dick Sherman, Farm Show Manager

This summer’s drought produced a lot of anxiety for Indiana farmers. It also produced some anxious moments for Indiana/Illinois Farm Show Manager Dick Sherman, “This is the 34th year of the show, and it is the first time I was really worried about the show.  Would the farmers come; would the exhibitors come? As the drought deepened, I felt we had a real disaster on our hands.” But when the rains came in August and the harvest got underway, Dick’s phone began to ring, “The same exhibitors wanted to be back; new exhibitors wanted to come to the show.”  In the end, the show is completely full with a waiting list of companies who want to exhibit. Every inch of the 170,000 square feet of the State Fairgrounds West Pavilion has been filled.  The show runs December 11 – 13, with free admission to the show and a $5 fee for parking.


Sherman says, even if this was not a good year for farmers financially, they may be able to score some good deals at the farm show, “There are very often show specials on a lot of the equipment, because exhibitors do not want to haul the equipment back home.” The show has a reputation as a show for working farmers because producers can take the time to talk with exhibitors and actually examine in detail the equipment on display.


Even if you are not looking for equipment, it will be a great place to shop for crop insurance. “We have more booths selling crop insurance than I have ever seen,” said Sherman.  He told HAT they actually had to turn a few insurance companies away from the show.   Show hours are from 9 am to 4 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday and from 9 am to 3 pm on Thursday.


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Free Farm Show Seminars


Hoosier Ag Today, Indiana’s leading agricultural communications company, will hold a series of free seminars at the Indiana/Illinois Farm Equipment show. The seminars are designed to provide farmers with practical information to help them recover agronomiclly and economically. The seminars will be held at 11am each day of the show — December 11, 12, and 13, 2012 — in the West Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.


Speakers for the Tuesday seminar include Daryl Starr of Advanced Ag Solutions, Kurt Wilhelm from Farm Clinic, and Hans Kok with the Indiana Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative.  All three presenters will cover agronomic issues related to maximizing crop production and soil fertility following the devastating 2012 drought.


The Wednesday seminar will focus on economic recovery. Michael Fritton, a CPA with Somerset CPAs, will present a program covering the tax implications of crop insurance payments and what farmers can expect in the way of tax law changes including estate taxes.  He will be followed by Dr. Chris Hurt, Ag Economist at Purdue, who will deliver his popular market outlook program.


Thursday’s seminar will cover futures market strategy. Jim Riley, of Riley Trading, and Tom Fritz, from EFG in Chicago, will help farmers develop a marketing strategy to manage their risk and protect their profit margins in what will likely be very volatile market conditions in 2013.


Seminar attendees will also have the chance to win an Smartphone courtesy of Verizon Wireless. Those who attend any of the seminars and sign up for the free Hoosier Ag Today newsletter will be entered into a drawing to win a new Smartphone.  Other door prizes will also be awarded at the seminars.