BOONE - The 2010 Farm Progress Show, which ends today, along U.S. Highway 30, east of Boone, offered more than 500 exhibitors a chance to show thousands of show goers what is new within their companies and update producers concerning the most recent products available to farming.
In addition to field and livestock demonstrations, seed and chemical companies were abundant at this year's Farm Progress Show.
Big Bud, the world's largest tractor was on display at the Crop Protection Services, Dyna-Gro and Loveland Product's exhibit this week at the 2010 Farm Progress Show.
Dave Kalsem with the Museum of Agricultural Heritage looks over one of the most unique tractors on display at the Farm Progress Show. This particular tractor, owned by Gary Coughenour, he said was made back in the late 1930's by a young man in Topeka, Kansas with random parts found on his farm and is a testament of the many different tractor manufacturers there have been throughout the years.
Winfield Solutions, of Vincent, a Land O' Lakes Inc. company, offering Croplan seed and AgriSolutions crop protection products, is showcasing its research and products to current customers and prospective customers during this year's Farm Progress Show.
"We are here trying to replicate a mini-answer plot to show attendees what's going on out in the field, said Matt Harmon, seed and agronomy advisor for Winfield Solutions.
Harmon said Winfield Solutions has 150 answer plot locations across the U.S.
"Our strategy is to take the information out of these lots to help our growers make the right decisions for their cropping system, said Harmon. "It's more than just yield. It's about the soil, population, nutrition."
This approach, Harmon said, is called the "R7 Replacement Strategy," which is used to evaluate all contributing factors and help growers match the right seed to each field.
They include the right genetics, the right soil type, the right plant population, the right cropping system, the right traits fed, the right plant nutrition defended with and the right crop protection.
What used to be known previously as the Land O'Lakes Answer Farm, near Vincent, is what is now the main location for everything to do with the answer plots.
"It is the hub to prepare for our answer plots," said Harmon. "Everything to do with planting, harvesting and spraying our answer plots is based out of Vincent."
Meeting Big Bud
One particular tractor on display could be classified as antique, but although older than the new tractors being introduced at the Farm Progress Show, when it comes to size there is nothing that can compare.
On display inside the Crop Production Services, Dyna-Gro Seed and Loveland Products Inc. exhibit is the world's largest tractor, the Big Bud 747.
Rusty Harder, national marketing manager for Dyna-Gro said the "big" attraction at the exhibit was brought in to make growers "think big."
"We brought it in so they would think big about yields, profits and success and the best way meet that goal was to introduce them to Big Bud," said Harder.
The Big Bud 747 was started inside the exhibit twice a day and attendees were put into a drawing to win a professional portrait with the enormous piece of equipment.
It took two semis to bring the tractor to the show. One semi hauled the four sets of duals that weighed in at 36,000 pounds while the tractor was brought on a semi pulling a trailer over 100 feet long and was over 14-feet wide.
Al and Cathy Van Kley, of Ankeny, were on hand during the Farm Progress show representing the owners of the Big Bud 747, Robert and Randy Williams, of Big Sandy, Mont.
Al Van Kley said the owners were unable to make the Farm Progress Show due to their wheat harvest.
All Big Bud tractors were built from 1969 until 1991 at the Big Bud Northern Manufacturing Company in Havre, Mont.
A total of 516 Big Buds were built during the 22-year span, with horsepower ranging from 250 to 900.
The Big Bud 747 is the only one of its kind built and has a rating of 1,000 hp. The length of the tractor is 28 1/2 feet; 21 feet wide; and 14 feet tall. The tires, which can no longer be found, are 40-inches wide and 8-feet tall.
Van Kley said the big tractor was built in 1977-1978 for a large cotton farm in California and has been a part of working farms in Florida and Montana up until three or four years ago when the Williams Brothers began practicing no-till.
After the Farm Progress Show, the Big Bud 747 will be on display at the Heartland Acres museum near Independence.
Taking a step back
While witnessing the latest and greatest in farm products, attendees also have the opportunity to take a step back in time while visiting the Museum of Agricultural Heritage exhibit.
Dave Kalsem, one of the museum's founders, had the idea to bring antique farm machinery to the Farm Progress Show in the mid-1980s, then held in Allerman.
Kalsem's idea made "quite an impression," he said, on the attendees and now equipment of years ago has been making up for a sizeable area of the Farm Progress Shows.
The Museum of Agricultural Heritage is located near Cambridge and features all makes and models of machinery ranging from tractors, separators, horse equipment, as well as rare antique farm equipment and a one-room school house.
"Our goal is to educate people on what agriculture used to be and to make this a center for Iowans and beyond," said Kalsem.
A lot of the equipment on display at the museum, Kalsem said, has been loaned, donated or is being stored.
The display not only includes different kinds of equipment, but an array of manufacturers, which Kalsem said is a testament to the many manufacturing companies that have come and gone throughout the years.
Weather permitting, Kalsem said, events are held throughout the warmer months for working the antique tractors as well as a time for horses to be brought in and used for farming.
"It's a place for some of these guys to come out and play with their antique machinery," he said.
The Museum of Agricultural Heritage is open by appointment and for information, Kalsem can be contacted by calling 231-5780, 383-4371 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Kriss Nelson at email@example.com.