On with the show

04/01/2009 02:00:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

Despite dry days, this year’s attendance at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif., seemed to be off from previous years.

Although expo officials don’t release actual attendance figures, several long-time vendors say they noticed the thoroughfares just didn’t seem as crowded and the tents weren’t as packed with attendees as they’ve been in the past.

Some exhibitors blame California’s drought, which has prompted state and federal water project officials to tell growers to expect no water deliveries this year. Growers on the San Joaquin Valley’s west side will be most severely hit.

Towns, such as Mendota, Los Banos and Huron, that rely on agriculture and ag-related businesses for the bulk of their economy, already are feeling the pinch.

Others exhibitors blame the overall economic malaise for a downturn in attendance.

Nevertheless, some exhibitors said the people who did stop by their booths were serious, and they made good contacts.

The three-day World Ag Expo, known as the Tulare Farm Show by old-timers, features more than 1,600 exhibitors and 2.6 million square feet of show space.

Here are just a few of the innovative products that were showcased at the event, now in its 42nd year.

New tractor line

Agco Corp. of Duluth, Ga., introduced the DT Series of row-crop tractors for the professional farmer market that it calls “game changers.”

The tractors range in size from 205 PTO horsepower to 274 PTO hp.

The designs, made from the ground up, have been three years in the works and are based on input from customer focus groups, Agco officials say. The cab, for example, is 28 percent lager than previous cabs and features 67 to 68 square feet of glass for increased visibility.

All of the tractors in the lineup feature CVT--or continuously variable transmission--for improved fuel efficiency. The engines also meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier III emissions requirements.

For more information, visit www.agcoiron.com.

Combine cultivation steps into one pass

Whether you choose the 41-foot- or the 45-foot-long unit, the Optimizer combines several cultivation practices into one pass, saving time, fuel and money, says Kevin McDonald, founder of Tillage International Inc. in Turlock, Calif.

Because you make fewer passes, you also help reduce the amount of pollution emitted during cultivation. In fact, you may even be able to qualify for Environmental Quality Incentive Program cost-share funds for using the unit, depending on the priorities set by local conservation committee, McDonald says.

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