UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The latest in agricultural technology, research and equipment will be front and center at Penn State's Ag Progress Days, slated for Aug. 13-15 at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs in Ferguson Township, Centre County.
One does not have to be a farmer to appreciate the wares that exhibitors from near and far bring to the show, noted Jesse Darlington, Ag Progress Days manager.
“We have more than 500 commercial and educational exhibits, as well as numerous field demonstrations and workshops, so there is plenty to see and do,” he said, adding that exhibitors cover virtually every product category, including field machinery, milking systems, animal genetics, storage structures, seed, feed, tools, trailers, sprayers, mixers, livestock housing, utility vehicles, fertilizers, fencing, financial products, insurance and more.
Field demonstrations are very popular and allow potential buyers to see and compare equipment in action, such as hay mowers, rakes and tedders, hay balers and bale handlers. New demonstrations this year include planting into green cover crops, direct-cut sorghum chopping, high-speed tillage equipment, all aspects of hay making, and one that Darlington said will show farmers how to diversify their farm operations with vegetable and other crops.
This demonstration will encompass two plots: one that will feature the recommended equipment and planting/irrigation techniques, and the other displaying grown crops, such as tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, potatoes, hemp and sweet corn. Visitors also will see how transplants are inserted into the raised beds and how they are maintained throughout the growing season to address pest issues.
To reduce erosion and mud splash on produce, visitors will see some of the equipment used to cultivate crops such as pumpkins and broccoli. Representatives from Toro and Irrometer will answer questions on drip irrigation and soil moisture sensors, respectively.
At the Farm Safety Demonstration Area, safety specialists will promote equipment designed to reduce the risk of accidents. A focus this year will be on grain bin safety. Demonstrations at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday will illustrate how grain flows in storage structures, hazards, anchor points and rescue procedures.
On Wednesday, two grain bin rescue demonstrations will be held to highlight types of rescue devices and training available to first responders for proper management of on-farm incidents involving grain storage. These demonstrations will take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Farm Safety Demonstration Area will host Penn State faculty demonstrating the safe use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Darlington encourages producers attending Ag Progress Days to ask questions of Penn State faculty specialists and extension educators and talk with experts about the latest research findings, best practices, business issues and governmental regulations that could affect their operations. Information will be available on issues related to dairy, livestock and crop production; animal health; soil conservation; water quality; and ag renewable energy.
Sponsored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, 9 miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 13; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 14; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 15. Admission and parking are free.
For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website. Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #agprogressdays, and the event also can be found on Facebook (@AgProgressDays).