Farm Progress Show draws people to look from across Midwest

BOONE, Iowa — Pietro Vitale, sales manager for Capello, a Cuneo, Italy, company that manufactures combine cornheads, was pleased to have a header in the Farm Progress Show field demonstrations. Worthington Ag Parts is the U.S. distributor for the header.

"In Europe we don’t have side-by-side demonstrations like this at our farm shows," Vitale said. "We wanted to show people that our machine is a fine product. I think people saw the flat chopping result."

It was Vitale’s first time in Iowa.

"All the corn, it’s beautiful," Vitale said. "We can really see that this is our market."

Elmo Shaw brought his son, Jordan, to the show because he hasn’t started school yet.


The Shaws have a grain and cattle operation in Pike County, Mo.

"We came to watch the field demonstrations and look at the new technology," Shaw said, adding that it was his son’s first farm show.

Andy Larson of Red Oak talked to Paul Trella of New Holland about the company’s NH2 hydrogen-powered tractor.

The tractor is part of a larger effort by New Holland and European governments to create an energy independent farm in Italy, said New Holland President Barry Engle. The tractor isn't in commercial production but it has been demonstrated on a short course.

The tractor’s fuel cells system transforms hydrogen into electricity that runs the two motors, Engle said. The tractor has zero emissions. Only a small amount of water in the form of steam is produced. There isn't any noise.

New Holland hopes to run the tractor through some actual production work and have a model available soon. The tractor has no diesel tank, no combustion engine, no exhaust pipe and no gear box.

Larson is building a passive solar home and hopes to add a wind turbine and solar panels as he can afford them.

"We ll have to be more energy independent," Larson said, adding that he’s interested in any technology that can help him do that.


Larson said he’s just looking at the show.

"I spent a wad on a new tractor last year," he said.

"They finally made a tractor with tires taller than me," David Huntrods of Collins quipped as he, Bob Schmitt, also of Collins, and Jim Huntrods of Mingo looked at the New Holland’s T9 Series 4WD tractor, which had been unveiled minutes before.

New Holland also unveiled its T8 Series tractors.

"We’re just looking," said Huntrods.

When asked what he liked best at the show, Schmitt said the antique tractors.

"It’s what we’re used to," he said.

Wade Prouse, New Holland tractor marketing manager, stood by to answer questions, and encouraged Merlin Hiller of Mccune, Kan., to look in the cab of the T9 at the SideWinder II armrest console.


"I got my corn picked so I decided to come to the show and check everything out," Hiller said.

He said he raises dry land corn in Kansas. His crop yielded 118 to 150 bushels to the acre.

"That’s good for us and we’re pleased," he said.

Hiller was looking at planting equipment. He wants to change from 30-inch row spacings to 20-inch rows.

Brothers Larry Larson of Davenport and Denny Larson of Newton were pushing their grandsons Hunter Dean and Jacob Meredith in strollers through the show grounds. Denny’s wife, Chris, and daughter, Tiffany, and Larry’s daughter, Carli, also came along.

"We’re grandpas at the farm show," said Larry Larson with a chuckle. "We’re here looking around for the day and showing our grandsons about farming. They love farm equipment."

Orville Steward of Chelsea, S.D., and his son, Brian, an ag engineering professor at Iowa State University, were studying Precision Planting’s 20/20 SeedSense, a planting monitor that reports plant population, skips and doubles, down force and ground contact.

"It tells you how much you’re losing per acre at planting," Orville said.


"We like looking at everything," Brian said.

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