Farm Science Review sees increased attendance, concludes on a high note
With an attendance of 129,864 visitors to the this year’s Farm Science Review Sept. 17-19 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio, organizers hailed the 51st annual trade show a success.
The visitor total was an increase from last year’s Review, which reported an attendance of 114,324, said Chuck Gamble, who manages the Review.
“Exhibitors were very pleased and farmers were out there smiling,” Gamble said. “It’s a great time to be in agriculture, especially knowing that the global population will reach 9 billion by the year 2050, increasing the demand for food.”
After what seemed like it would be washout due to persistent rains in the area during the morning hours, the afternoon crowd Sept. 19 picked up and brought in 24,608 visitors. The Sept. 17 opening day attendance was 46,656 while Sept. 18 was the highest-attended day with 58,600 visitors, he said.
Following the theme “Break New Ground,” the event emphasized the best agricultural research, resources and information for farmers, Gamble said.
Some highlights of the Review included:
An appearance by the Peterson Farm Brothers, musician-farmers from Kansas who create agriculture-inspired music video parodies to popular songs that are posted on YouTube. They tell the story of agriculture to the general public by demonstrating what they do on their farm and how they care for their animals.
Daily tours by members of the Ohio State University Extension Agronomic Crops Team on corn and soybean production in plots established outside the eastern edge of the Review exhibit area.
A new, innovative drainage ditch design that includes self-forming channels on-site, which can be used by farmers to address drainage needs essential for crop production and to improve water quality.
The first, live demonstration of an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) for real-time crop maintenance and precision agriculture. Such drones could be used to provide useful and local site-specific data, including crop scouting and geo-referencing to allow growers to monitor pesticide dispersion and fertilizer usage and to monitor crop health parameters including soil moisture.
“The field demonstrations were amazing this year, including the installation of drainage technology,” Gamble said. “There was a lot of interest in the UAV demo as farmers seem to be more receptive to new technologies.
“And we may harvest our best crop ever here at the Review, with early soybean yield results showing 58 bushels per acre on average and 222 bushels per acre on average for corn.”
Sponsored by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, the Review featured educational workshops, presentations, demonstrations and educational opportunities delivered by experts from Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, which are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.
Known as Ohio’s premier agricultural event, the Review annually draws farmers, growers, producers and agricultural enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada. Participants were able to peruse 4,000 product lines from 600 commercial exhibitors, and capitalize on educational opportunities from Ohio State and Purdue University specialists.
Gamble said the Review sold out of exhibitor space sooner this year than in any previous year, which is a clear indication of the level of the interest participants had in attending the show and learning about what the Review has to offer.
“Companies know they’ll have a nice crowd of receptive farmers and producers interested in their products or services, which is a positive reflection on the show because of the large attendance we typically draw,” he said. “Between all the different educational displays, workshops and demonstrations our college experts provide, farmers know there are numerous opportunities to learn more about the newest research and innovations in agriculture out there.”
“It was nice to see our customers come through and be able to interact with them in a different setting than on the farm,” said John Schaeffer, a district sales manager for Great Lakes Hybrids in northwest Ohio. “The show helped to get the ball rolling on a lot of sales for the fall season.”
The next Review is Sept. 16 to 18, 2014.