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Rain Brings Soggy Start To Farm Progress Show

Amy Mayer/IPR
Jackson, Minnesota farmer John Peterson, left, and a friend from Germany stop at the CLAAS booth at the Farm Progress Show in Boone Tuesday.

A major farm trade show is underway in Iowa, but the first day came to a soggy halt Tuesday.

The Farm Progress Show is billed as the largest outdoor farm show in the country. It’s held at the Central Iowa Expo in Boone County in even-numbered years, alternating with a site in Decatur, Illinois. It kicked off with a strong morning crowd.

John Peterson, a corn and soybean farmer from Jackson, Minnesota, came to check out the latest equipment.

“I think it’s just general information, knowledge, seeing what’s new, what’s different,” he said, “keep myself up on current technologies.”

Central City farmer Pete Brecht said keeping up with new technology can be challenging.

“There’s some pretty neat stuff coming as far as making it easier to select hybrids for different soil types and different regions,” Brecht said. “All that stuff’s been available, but you gotta sort through a lot of information and now they’ve got some technology that you can put in your field and it’ll tell you what’s the best one to plant. So that’s what we’re looking for.”

The show features major equipment manufacturers and multinational seed and chemical companies but also small tech start-ups, commodity groups and non-profit organizations.

But about noon the thunder began and soon heavy rains turned the grounds into a series of small streams, prompting organizers to urge people to leave.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is expected at the show on Wednesday. The Farm Progress Show runs through Thursday.

Amy Mayer is a reporter based in Ames