Some come with a shopping list, others are just looking

DES MOINES - Some farmers came to last week's Iowa Power Farming Show with a shopping list, and others were there to look.

Some come with a shopping list, others are just looking
Eric Hillbrands of Ziegler Cat, at right, answers questions from Roger and Wes Zylstra and Dan Dykema, in back, at the Iowa Power Farming Show. The Zylstras and Dykema farm near Lynnville.

DES MOINES - Some farmers came to last week's Iowa Power Farming Show with a shopping list, and others were there to look.

Mark Mueller of Waverly came with three goals in mind, and he had accomplished all three by mid-afternoon.

"I was looking for a seed tender," Mueller said. "I did a little research on the Internet and through magazines and I knew of three or four manufacturers. At this show alone, I came across eight different companies that make seed tenders. I think I've settled on what I'm going to purchase."

Mueller also signed a contract to get high speed Internet.

"We're on dial-up and that is quite tedious," Mueller said. "My kids are doing a lot more homework that requires Internet, and they have to go to town and use the Internet at the library. They will be quite happy when I get home and tell them I've signed up with a provider."


He also talked to company representative about his grain spreader, which wore out.

"They said those things aren't supposed to ever wear out, and he said to send it back to the factory and they'll rebuild it free of charge," Mueller said.

Mueller likes being able to see different products side by side.

"You can see things on the Internet, but when you actually see them up close you can compare the design and the degree of care with which they were built," he said.

Dave and Lynn Olson came to the show from New Ulm, Minn.

Dave Olson was talking to Ron Steenhoek, product specialist for Great Plains. He had some questions about the new 60-foot Great Plains twin-row planter he bought.

"I've been planting twin rows for seven years and it works very well," Olson said.

"A lot of guys are interested in higher populations and higher yields and they can get that with a twin row planter because you stagger the seed, so you get more light interception and higher yield," Steenhoek said.


The Olsons raise rows crops and docustom work. They have two sons, Michael and Shawn, who they are working into the operation.

Olson planned to check out the new Case IH Magnum Series tractor, which meets the EPA's Tier 4A emissions regulations. Olson has one ordered, but it won't be delivered until spring. He said the tractor is supposed to be more fuel efficient.

Olson also wanted to look at combines, farm utility vehicles and pickups.

Steve Lee, a Polk City farmer and member of the Polk County Farm Bureau, used the show to teach second and third graders from the Des Moines Downtown School about growing corn. The farm show tour was part of Polk County Farm Bureau's ag in the classroom project.

Teacher Lauren Katch said she's pleased to participate in the program.

"The kids are really excited," Katch said. "We had a speaker before the show so that kids know what to expect."

Standing in front of a new Claas combine, Lee showed the children a photo of the combine he uses on his farm.

Roger Zylstra of Lynnville said he comes to the show to keep up with all the newest technology. He raises corn, soybeans and contract finishes hogs.


He was talking to Eric Hilbrands of Ziegler Cat.

"I have some questions about technology compatibility of monitors that I want to get answered," Zylstra said. "I'm getting a new planter, and I'm looking for the best route to go as far as getting a monitor."

Everyone talks about how farmers have lots of money to spend because of high corn and soybean prices, but Zylstra said he had a slim crop in 2010 due to unending rain. Corn yielded just 80 to 120 bushels to the acre. So while prices are very strong, he doesn't have a lot of crop to sell.

Jim Campbell of Hedrick checked out the cab of a new Massey Ferguson Dyna-VT 8680 tractor.

"I'm here to see what I can buy 15 years from now used," he said with a grin.

Campbell raises seed beans and corn and has a hog finishing unit.

"I like being able to see the things I read about," he said.

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