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Published September 02, 2014, 11:35 AM

A bigger, better Big Iron show

Farm machinery is getting so big and sophisticated that the Big Iron Farm Show is looking at adjusting the doors of an exhibit building to get equipment in and out, the show’s director says.

By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek

Farm machinery is getting so big and sophisticated that the Big Iron Farm Show is looking at adjusting the doors of an exhibit building to get equipment in and out, the show’s director says.

“Just the size and complexity of equipment today,” says Bryan Schulz. “It makes every year new and exciting for us.”

The annual Big Iron Farm Show, which celebrates what’s new and innovative in agriculture, will be held Sept. 9 to 11 in West Fargo, N.D. More than 70,000 people will attend the show, which features everything from health screenings and marketing sessions to a ladies brunch and a program for international visitors.

Schulz is particularly excited about the show’s unmanned aircraft system component, which includes daily demonstrations from 1 to 3 p.m., followed by an educational class each day.

Interest in unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones, is high, Schulz says.

Big Iron hoped to hold UAS demonstrations in 2013, but couldn’t get regulatory approval in time. This year, the Academy of Model Aeronautics, which routinely oversees model aircraft competition, will coordinate the demonstrations in accordance with the organization’s safety procedures.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service will be involved with the UAS demonstrations, as well.

NDSU Extension also will have a display in the east entry of the Hartl Ag Building, at which several of its experts will give presentations.

Ken Hellevang, ag engineer, will talk about alternative grain storage facilities. He’ll also use a grain entrapment display to demonstrate safe grain-handling practices.

Dwight Aakre and Andy Swenson, agribusiness and applied economic specialists, and county agents Willie Huot and John Kringler will answer questions about the new farm bill.

Esther McGinnis, horticulturist, will answer questions on Sept. 9.

David Lehman, manufacturing engineer, will demonstrate 3-D printing

and discuss 3-D printing applications in business and industry on Sept. 10 and 11.

David Ripplinger, NDSU bioproducts and bioenergy economist, will present information on bioindustry activities and options.

Kasia Kinzer, plant diagnostician, will answer crop production questions on the morning of Sept. 9. Hans Kandel, agronomist, will answer crop production questions on the morning of Sept. 10.

Brunch, app Schulz also mentions the annual Ladies Brunch and Style Show, held this year on Wednesday morning at the Holiday Inn of Fargo.

The doors open at 9 a.m. Tickets, sold at the door, cost $20 per person.

“It sells out every year, so you have to get there early,” he says.

Schulz is enthused about the show’s new mobile app, a free download. It’s available on the Apple and Android market. More information about the app is on the show’s website: www.big ironfarmshow.com.

“We’re very proud of it (the app),” he says. “We had a lot of people contact us about getting one. I think it has a lot of items that people coming to the show are looking for.”

Crop prices have plunged in the past year, and profit is harder to come by in the ag sector.

But that hasn’t diminished interest in this year’s Big Iron, Schulz says.

“We’re not seeing that (reduced interest) at all. There’s a lot of excitement,” he says.

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