When you really want to check out new technologies, you want to kick the tires (if it has tires), watch it work, take an under-the-hood look, then get a price quote. This is the time of year when you get serious about it--and have time to do so.
That's why the New York Farm Show is the Northeast's top-drawing indoor farmer's event of the winter, pulling in farmers from more than 10 states and Canada. The 28th annual show opens at the state fairgrounds in Syracuse on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February 21, 22 and 23.
All five heated buildings will be jammed with crops, dairy, beef and building products from more than 425 exhibitors, says New York Farm Show Manager Scott Grigor. And, he adds, you won't want to miss a host of opportunities to learn something new in the mini-seminars and workshops.
What's to see and do
Here's a short list of what'll be waiting for you:
. All major brand equipment manufacturers, including AGCO, John Deere, Case IH, CLAAS, Kubota, Kuhns, New Holland, Mahindra and more.
. Dairy industry leaders, including Dairy Farmers of America, Dairylea, Organic Valley and others.
. Dairy equipment companies, including Alfa-Laval, Boumatic, GEA Westfalia-Surge, Lely and more.
. Energy-savers and shavers, including ventilation, heating, lighting, solar and wind technology products.
. Seed companies, including DeKalb-Asgrow, Doebler's, Growmark FS, Mycogen, Pioneer, T.A. Seeds and many more.
Come and catch up
This year's lineup of seminars and workshops has grown to five tracks:
. Dairy Robotonomics 2013: Learn about the latest robotic milking innovations on Friday, February 22, from Delaval and Lely experts. The session begins at 10 a.m. in the Bistro Room of the Arts and Home Center. Two dairy farmers will share their experiences and be available during the Q&A session.
. Affordable Methane Digesters: At 1 p.m. Friday, also in the Bistro Room, the UEM Group, an environmental services firm specializing in turnkey digesters, will cover costs, benefits, financing and payback of digesters. They'll show how the technology can be designed and made affordable for even small and midsized dairies.
. Farm Microloans: At 2:15 p.m. Friday, in the Bistro Room, USDA Farm Service Agency personnel from New York will debut FSA's new farm operating microloan program designed to meet the needs of smaller, nontraditional and niche-type operations. Loans of up to $35,000 can be made with no required down payment for livestock and feed, equipment, building repairs, operating costs, even refinancing of certain farm-related debts.
. Beef Up Beef Know-How: Daily workshops on need-to-know beef cattle topics will be hosted by the New York Beef Producers and Cornell University in the Dairy Building's Beef Center. Topics include: Halter-breaking calves, fitting cattle for show, ultrasounding for carcass quality, reproductive tech and AI, cattle handling systems, castration techniques, calf preconditioning, and the "name that beef cut" contest.
. Woodlots And Wildlife: The New York Forest Owners Association is back with an expanded program for each day, with a total of 15 mini-workshop sessions in the Arts and Home Center's Somerset Room. The schedule is:
Thursday, February 21
- 10 a.m. Legislators need to know your needs forum
- 11 a.m. Protecting timber from fraud and theft
- 1 p.m. Smart management creates good bird habitat
- 2 p.m. Fostering open field bird habitat
- 3 p.m. Financial help for improving woodlots
Friday, February 22
- 10 a.m. Conservation easements protect woodlot legacies
- 11 a.m. Coping with insects destroying valuable trees
- 1 p.m. Bringing woodlots back for valuable timber
- 2 p.m. Managing for timber and deer
- 3 p.m. Woodlot investment: Experience and lessons
Saturday, February 23
- 10 a.m. Property taxes and your woodlot
- 11 a.m. Successful and profitable tree planting
- 1 p.m. How consulting foresters can help
- 2 p.m. Portable sawmills for woodlot owners
- 3 p.m. Legislators need to know your needs forum