Seemingly endless displays of farm equipment, technology and agronomy suppliers filled the Commodity Classic trade show floor earlier this month in New Orleans. It was magnificent.
But there was even a grander sight: people. Farmers climbed into combine cabs, chatted with drone company officials about how unmanned aircraft can help scout, seed and spray fields and learned about the latest seed and chemicals for the 2022 growing season.
In-person farm shows took an understandable hiatus in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commodity Classic and other events are back in-person this year, and farmers couldn’t be happier. The National Machinery Show and Southern Farm Show were held in February. The two-day World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit ended Wednesday in San Francisco.
Commodity Classic was virtual last year, featuring online educational seminars. People, with good reason, are virtually sick of staying at home. Nearly 8,000 farmers, exhibitors, industry stakeholders and media attended Commodity Classic last month, according to an event news release. Though not a record attendance, the atmosphere was still electric.
“We were so excited to be live and in-person in New Orleans after a digital event last year,” said Gerry Hayden, 2022 Commodity Classic co-chair and soybean and corn farmer from Kentucky, in a statement. “The energy of seeing everyone together after being separated for two years by the pandemic was amazing. What a great start to 2022.”
Gary Porter, a Missouri corn and soybean farmer and co-chair of the 2022 Commodity Classic, said in a statement, “There’s nothing like connecting in person and seeing the best agriculture has to offer. I can’t wait to see everyone again at the 2023 Commodity Classic in Orlando.”
As society slowly transitions back to business-as-usual — a new normal living with a virus that is likely here to stay — I hope the nation’s largest farmer-led agricultural and education show will be in-person again next year, as Porter said.
Farmers are able to interact with speakers talking about everything from fertilizer placement, emerging carbon markets and the relatively new world of biologicals. They can ask questions specific about their farm operations that they might not be comfortable doing in a virtual setting. Attendees can see new pieces of equipment or technology and inquire about return-on-investment possibilities.
For farmers and ag industry folks that couldn’t attend this year’s Commodity Classic, DTN has you covered. Several editors and writers wrote several stories and shot multiple videos at the event. Plus, additional information gleaned from the show and contacts made will eventually make its way into future DTN content that can be found at www.dtnpf.com.
Here are some DTN videos shot at Commodity Classic:
- Farmer Mike Shaw talks about the latest products from Calmer Corn Heads. Shaw works with the company testing products on his Ogden, Iowa, farm. See here.
- Greg Trame, GIS director of sales for technology products, shares information about the company’s new EVO 50 grain bin and the GrainVue remote grain storage monitoring system. See here.
- Tyler Schuldt, Environmental Tillage Systems, shows off the company’s latest Soil Warrior strip-till equipment. See here.
- Karen St. Germain, National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) Earth Science Division director, explains NASA’s role in agricultural production. NASA satellites, among other things, study the earth and collect data that can be used by farmers and the agriculture industry. St. Germain describes how the agency can help solve future challenges in agriculture. See here.
The following are stories written at Commodity Classic:
- Commodity group and agricultural equipment leaders discussed what ag sustainability means to them, along with a variety of issues that affect their respective organizations and members. See here.
- Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was the keynote speaker during the event’s general session. The nation’s ag leader talked about the war in Ukraine, trade, biofuels and the climate, among other things. See here.
- Agrichemical and seed companies provided a look at futuristic crop traits and weed control systems ranging from short-stature corn to crops stacked high with insect traits and herbicide tolerance. Sprayer technology was also showcased. See here.
- NASA officials show farmers and agribusiness leaders how NASA satellite data helps USDA and others forecast crop production and weather conditions on the ground. See here.
Matthew Wilde can be reached at email@example.com
Follow him on Twitter @progressivwilde