Ag in Motion, western Canada’s largest outdoor farm show, is adding another 100 companies to its lineup for this year’s event. Continue reading “Western Canada’s largest outdoor farm show getting bigger”
Ag in Motion is a phenomenon. The massive outdoor agricultural show sprawls over 320 acres and may well be the stuff farmers dreams are made of.
The event is in its second year and surpassed expectations. After day one of the three-day event, show director Rob O’Connor said they got off to a great start. “The numbers look like we were about 50 per cent higher on our attendance figures and of course the show is just that much bigger as well; there’s that many more demonstrations for people to see.”
Approaching the site heading west on Highway 16, you see what appears to be a tent city just past Langham. Once you get to the show, you see that this temporary ‘city’ in a farmer’s field has street signs, shuttles from the parking lot and air-conditioned bathrooms – some comforts for show-goers. There was also up to 18 food trucks and a bar onsite.
Ag in Motion featured over 300 exhibitors, a number of sample crop plots and live outdoor demonstrations. In one straight-combining demonstration, a Jaguar combine took a swath from a crop, funneling the harvest into a large grain truck driving alongside, and leaving behind clean stubble.
“Most of the crop plots were planted between the middle of May and the first of June this year. We’ve had fantastic weather conditions and we’ve had just the right amount of moisture here at Langham. I think it really helped to make those crops look fantastic,” said O’Connor. “There’s a corn plot and the corn is already eight feet high. It’s phenomenal to see something like that.”
The show offered specific programs for people looking to meet specific needs. The demonstration program was focused around tillage and seeding this year. “We think that’s the equipment people are looking for, and the newer technology in some cases. It’s really been quite a success. Our crowds at those particular demonstrations were fantastic.”
O’Connor said a lot of people in western Canada don’t realize that a lot of the world’s best technology for dryland farming is designed right here in western Canada. We take it for granted because it’s right on our own doorstep. “We lead the world and we share that information with the world and it helps everybody do a better job to produce their crops. And you’ll see a lot of that technology right here at this show.”
He believes irrigation will become increasingly important to farmers and expects to see more of that technology in western Canada, especially Saskatchewan. The show will be increasing its irrigation programming in the future, he said.
In the crowds on July 19, the first day of Ag in Motion, were people on a bus tour from Quebec and a farmer from Nebraska. O’Connor said online tickets were sold to people from Australia, South Africa and Ireland. “That’s phenomenal being this is only our second year.”
But the main focus remains Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba farmers. They saw bus tours coming in from just east of Winn
ipeg up to just north of Edmonton. When he started working with this event, O’Connor initially anticipated attracting people from within a 200-mile radius.
“It’s great to see that we have such an impact and a level of importance to farmers across western Canada than we anticipated this early on with this show.”
Ag in Motion is already planning for next year’s show. They’ll look at any changes they want to make and what exhibitors might want them to do. They’ll talk to companies about crop plots – types of seeds or fertilizers or rotations.
O’Connor said an army of about 100 local volunteers just from the local area, offered incredible support. That included people like neighbour Wendell Elliott and his wife and others who watched the gates, watered the roads, manned information booths, drove shuttles and much more.
Ag in Motion, western Canada’s outdoor farm expo is back. The trade show has expanded considerably since its inaugural event last year.
“The show is growing,” said show director Rob O’Connor. “We have close to a 50 per cent increase from an exhibitor standpoint. We expect attendance to rise as well.”
The event combines a trade show with live demonstrations on a half section of land near Langham, and takes place July 19 to 21. Demonstration space will double this year, exhibitor space will include more equipment, and there will be expanded livestock programming. Food service will also be expanded with more food trucks and tents, and there’s grass this year.
As of June 20, about 280 exhibitors had already signed on, with the potential for more to be added. Companies will bring their equipment and demonstrate it in the field. If they grow crops, whether it’s seed varieties or if they have a different type of input process, that can all be demonstrated at the show as well, according to O’Connor.
Farmers can see for themselves all the latest innovations and newest technology in the field. Fifteen years ago, global positioning was new and exciting. Now the industry is looking at how automated drones and robot (or self-driving) tractors can enhance farming practices, O’Connor said.
“On the crop side we’re seeing more soybean acres and corn acres in Saskatchewan than we’ve ever done before and new varieties of crops. New farming practices are coming with that.” Ag in Motion will help farmers understand the implications of adopting new practices and how to take advantage of these new opportunities.
Farmers can learn about new practices online, in the newspaper, on the radio or on TV. “But unless they’re actually there to see it and be involved with it, they won’t get that full understanding and they won’t be able to make that decision on whether they want to go down that path in their operation.”
Along with new technology comes new understanding through data collection. O’Connor said they have partnered with Agri-Trend and John Deere to bring to the market a competition called Canola 100. The purpose of Canola 100 is to get the industry to drive to produce 100 bushels of canola per acre. The competition will generate data that will inform practices in growing canola.
A new livestock and dairy component has been added for 2016. It is currently the only showcase for the dairy industry in the province. “We’re hoping to be the Saskatchewan home for where the dairy industry showcases itself In the future,” said O’Connor.
When O’Connor appeared before the RM of Corman Park council recently to finalize some details regarding their land use application, the reeve and several councilors expressed support of the show. The application was made under the Borden Bridge Development Corporation for an annual agricultural trade show.
O’Connor said last year they were pleasantly surprised to see people drive all the way from Sioux, MB and from north of Edmonton, representing a wide swath of the agricultural community.
“This year we have already heard of bus tours being lined up from the other side of Winnipeg. So I think we’re going to have a really good reach.”
O’Connor said local volunteers preparing for the event have been ‘fantastic.’ For more information visit aginmotion.ca