Equipment Takes Center Stage at Empire Days

8/9/2014 7:00 AM
By Chris Torres Regional Editor

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. — The rains may not have stayed away, but they did little to dampen the spirits of attendees of the 81st Empire Farm Days.

“We’ve had a lot of rain,” said show manager Melanie Wickham.

The Seneca Falls area and parts of the Finger Lakes region have gotten lots of rain over the last week. Heavy rain spared the first day of the show, but showers and storms were forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.

“It was a dry summer and it all decided to come at the same time, but you know, the site has held up well. We’re really pleased with it and the show goes on,” she said.

“Hit Pay Dirt” was this year’s theme. Wickham said the idea is to bring new strategies and the latest innovations for farmers to see.

“We also supplement all of our equipment demonstrations and exhibits with seminars and field demonstrations and activities,” Wickham said. “We’re really focused on trying to bring new information that farmers can be more efficient and more profitable.”

It’s been a good year for dairy farmers as the milk price has hit unprecedented levels.

Lorne Wagner, display manager for Kuhn North America, said many farmers he talked to were interested in bigger and better equipment.

“Especially the dairymen, they have money. As they talk to us it’s usually something bigger than they have today, and I’m sure the people with the milking equipment and parlors and that kind of thing are getting more interest than anybody,” Wagner said.

Ron Bender of Art’s Way agricultural equipment said that with beef prices being so high, mixer mills were of interest to farmers he talked to.

Small equipment was the rage over at the John Deere display area, according to a John Deere company support representative who was at the show.

More than 600 agricultural exhibitors were on hand for the show, bringing everything from tractors and other large ag equipment, to small farming tools.

The show also featured seminars and demonstrations featuring dairy and beef cattle, alpacas, horses, goats, and field and crop demonstrations.

Dozens of attendees lined the field demonstration area to see forage choppers and pieces of equipment in action. The new Rinstrum Drive-Over Axle Scale for weighing trucks and forage loads was demonstrated. Seedway and DuPont sponsored a presentation on cover crops for Northern climates. There was also a demonstration of cover crop interseeding by Cornell and Penn State.

The Birkett Mills of Penn Yan had a field planted at the show in buckwheat, which was a first for Empire Farm Days. In addition, Alltech led an in-field discussion of its Grain-Set foliar applied micronutrient fertilizer, which the company claims can boost corn root systems, protein and starch content, and yield.

Wickham said she expected at least 60,000 people to attend this year’s show.

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