Usually the crowds gather around the big major machinery lines at the National farm Machinery Show in Louisville. The indoor show had its annual run last week. Those firms got their fair share of traffic. And as usual, the hardest place to navigate through was the aisles with craft booths for the ladies, and toy tractors and such for the guys. But beyond all that, the busiest spots in the building were anywhere someone was selling grain bin or grain drying equipment.
Customers were stacked up at many of those booths all day long, waiting to talk to sales reps. Orders were being written. Dates were set for follow-up visits. It wasn't a kick-the-tires crowd around these booths. It was an audience eager to buy. The memory of the wettest harvest season in 37 years and a season with the highest grain moisture contents for corn in many years will do that for an industry- create interest and sales.
Whether you should buy a dryer or bin is a big decision. Just because you needed more capacity last year may not be a foolproof reason for spending money on upgrades now. You'll need to visit with several folks, including perhaps your county Extension educator and accountant to determine what, if anything, you should invest in when it comes to grain drying and handling.
One point is clear, however. Whatever decision you're going to make, make it soon. Call your educator today. Meet with you ever you have to meet with to make the decision as soon as possible. Why? Because orders are stacking up. And while reps at almost every company we talked to insist they're going to do their best to fulfill every order they right for grain bins or dryers. Some question whether their best will be good enough.
One farmer commented last week while walking away from a dryer sales booth that at some point farmers will be buying for new systems in 2011, not 2010, whether they know it or not. That farmer could say it and smile because he ordered his new dryer last November. He's been told he should get delivery of it shortly.
"I wasn't going through another fall like last year," he commented. "We babied a dryer that was 30 years old. It wasn't worth it."
Truth is there are dryers and other older grain handling equipment out there that legitimately needs replacing. The question is how much you can afford to invest in doing so. Would your money return a bigger payoff on investment elsewhere?
That's a decision only you can make. Just make it sooner rather than later!