For the first time in 9 years we lost a day at the Farm Progress Show. We made the call to open the gates, and less than an hour after they did the rise of threatening weather meant we were going home early.
Tuesday and Wednesday were great days. I have a ton of material to work through to share with you in the coming weeks from tires to tractors, from technology to research. Everyone was at Farm Progress Show sharing their insights, offering visitors new tools and information.
Then comes Thursday. It hadn't rained overnight, but when I pulled up the weather radar at 4 in the morning (farm show days are early days) I saw what was ahead. When the call came at 5:15 to post that we would open online I knew I was to embrace the wetness and head to Boone (after doing the online postings).
Once closed it was time for clearing out our stuff and packing up to go home. Thursdays I usually check out a show Gator to make transportation to key points around the grounds easier. It also makes day's end simpler when it is officially time to head home. Thursday it came in handy.
This is not the first shortened Farm Progress Show I've been to, but it's an occurrence we don't see much of anymore. The permanent biennial sites do make a difference.
I work an office life. I get out to farms, I meet with farmers and I travel plenty (just ask my wife). While I work to understand the frustrations and challenges farmers face, and find ways to help in my writing, it's not like I'm 'living' those frustrations. A journalist can cover topics for readers but getting inside the actual feelings of something, that's always a challenge.
When a weather occurrence impacts a farm show, I feel I get a little closer to how you feel when Mother Nature winds up and throws that curve ball, or ridiculous change-up, to your operation. You have plans, many contingent on exquisite timing that requires you to be in the field during increasingly tight operational windows. Weather is the Boogie Man of plan wreckers, and this week I got a small (very small) taste of what you must feel when things turn against your crop in a season.
This week those rains were welcome to many in Iowa who feared a mini-drought was in the works after a wet spring. Soybeans were getting parched in some parts of the state - they're parched no more. So our bad news might have been good news for some farmers (isn't that the way weather works - you're hoping the bad stuff hits someone else).
As I unpack from this week and sort through the material, flash drives and other information I've collected my job is to package that up in new ways for you and help you understand what's new in the market. I'll do my best.
Harvest is ahead and I'm wishing you a safe and bountiful result - and few weather headaches (really!).