This year's Farm Progress Show is being held in Iowa, but Wednesday, it was announced that Decatur will be hosting a two-day ag show of its own. A Precision Aerial Ag Show is expected to draw a crowd of its own. The turnout is not expected to be as big as the farm progress show, but this exposition is supposed to have a big impact on the farming community.
Ag Engage and Penton Farm Progress made the announcement at Richland Community College. That's also where the unmanned aerial vehicles, or "drones," were on display. Farmers show demand for information about this cutting-edge technology, so this show is meant to teach farmers about the agricultural application of drones. It's said that UAV's will save farmers time when looking over their crops. It can also improve crop management and risk management, like early detection of nitrogen stress on corn plants earlier.
"The technology will allow them to be able to be better crop managers of their farm ... they may have needs for doing this that they just can't see during the regular growing season," said Farm Analyst Stu Ellis.
And while the technology can help farmers, the show could boost Decatur's economy.
"There are certainly going to be hotel rooms, there are certainly going to be restaurants, there are certainly going to be gas station visits that are going to up when the show is going on, but to help cement progress city as the place farmers come to learn about new technologies and get hands on with it and have more opportunities like that for them and get that concrete in their mind that this is where they come for that is a good thing for the Decatur community," explained Farm Progress National Events Manager Matt Jungmann.
It is the first-ever outdoor show for unmanned aerial vehicle use in agriculture, and the hope is that it won't be the last. Farm Progress organizers say they hope this could be the first of many annual shows that could take place at Progress City.
The event goes from July 9-10 at Progress City. The Farm Progress Show follows a month later in August. It starts on the 26th and goes through the 28th in Boone, Iowa.
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