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Weather provides challenges for farm show

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 02/19/2013 1:45 PM

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DES MOINES —Weather presented challenges for last week's Iowa Power Farming Show, but farmers from throughout the Midwest still managed to make it to Des Moines.

"We had freezing rain for move in and 20 below zero wind chills for move out and a snow storm in between," said Tom Junge, show co-director. "Wednesday, even with the storm, we had a surprising number of people that came. At 9:30 a.m. a bus pulled up from New Ulm, Minn., and I talked to farmers from southwest Iowa."

Those who came Wednesday had extra time to talk to exhibitors because the crowds were lighter.

"Those that came were here for a purpose," Junge said. "They had a list."

A record 11,185 farmers and ranchers came to the show on Tuesday. While Junge is still putting together Thursday's numbers, he expects them to be very strong as well. Attendance was down 60 percent on Wednesday from normal.

"I've heard no negative comments from exhibitors," Junge said. "The crowd was great, and attitudes were good. Exhibitors who did ask me to come and talk to them said they needed more space next year."

The show, held at the Iowa Events Center, featured more than 450 ag-related companies from 29 states and four Canadian provinces. The show is produced by the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association. Dealers are reporting strong sales for January.

Mike and Angie Ruzicka of Marble Rock checked out the cab of a new John Deere combine.

"We like to keep updated on new things," Mike said. "We'll spend the day here."

The Ruzickas said they like to look at all the big equipment and see what's new in shop tools. Angie said she wanted to see the refrigerator unit in the cab of the combine.

The Ruzickas waited until Thursday to come to the show.

"The wind blew really hard but we didn't get a lot of snow," Mike said of the storm.

"We have four kids, and school was canceled so we waited a day to come," Angie said.

Dan and Andy Muff's Y Drop Fertilizer Attachment attracted lots of attention. Their booth simulated how the Y Drop moves through a corn row applying liquid fertilizer or insecticide. Their bright green artificial corn complete with tassels looked like the real thing.

The Muffs, who farm near Garner, own Ag Alternatives, Inc., the U.S. distributor for the Y Drop that they developed from a need in their own operation.

"The Y Drop is the most versatile tool available in today's market that can be attached to almost any spray machine," Dan Muff said.

"This is a good show," Dan said. "We've talked to people from Iowa as well as Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota. We've talked to people from all over."