You come to the Farm Progress Show to see equipment in action. It's what sets the Farm Progress Show apart. But you also come to see the plants of tomorrow growing today. "Our seed plot program is much like in the past," says Matt Jungmann, Director of national events for Farm Progress Companies. "It's a formula that works, so we stay with it. We believe it gives visitors a chance to see the seed product while the seed rep talks about it, rather than just having to imagine what he's talking about."
About 8 to 10 seed companies will take advantage of the plot option and display various hybrids and varieties this year, Jungmann says. The plots were planted by show staff on the same day. After that, however, the plots were turned over to the company reps in each case. These plots will not be taken to yield, and are not intended to be comparison plots.
Where possible the plots are located right outside the seed company's exhibit. That gives a company's personnel a chance to take customers back to their plot and let them see what they're talking about firsthand."
The show organizers went to the concept of locating a company's plots as near to their tent as possible a few years ago because it makes it convenient for both exhibitors and customers. While you may not be able to compare yield potential fairly from one plot to the next you can compare such things as relative height, disease tolerance and ear placement.
To get the most from your visit to the plots, check with the company rep in charge of those plots first. Let a rep show you how their particular plot is organized. Remember that each company is responsible for weed control and other agronomic practices related to the plot after planting.
Dow AgroSciences will have their own plot inside their tent complex again this year. The plots are in an open area surrounded by tents and walkways. This allows them to give organized tours through the plots. It's expected Dow AgroSciences will exhibit some of the products they're developing for the future, including 2,4-D resistant corn. This corn will become part of the Enlist herbicide system.
Monsanto will also have plots again this year, utilizing the fenced area directly adjacent to their exhibit area. Inside they will have their latest products on the market, as well as some of the equipment they use. Staff from every company has been working hard in their plot area all summer to make sure the plots are ready for the show, Jungmann observes.