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Showcase at the Farm Progress Show 2017

There is plenty to look forward to at the annual Farm Progress Show on August 29-31, 2017 at the Decatur-Macon County Fairground in Decatur, IL.

[Wheat] is the principal crop grown in the US and over 50% of the harvest is exported to other countries each year.

Instead of showcasing the biggest pumpkin, or longest strand of string beans, the event tackles the big issues surrounding agriculture technology which include automation, driverless trucks, and non-traditional farming methods.

Considered the largest outdoor farm event in the country, the Farm Progress Show is expected to draw crowds of more than 70,000 people. More than 130 exhibitors have already signed up. Items on display include seeds, tractors, machinery, farm equipment and others.

Driverless Farm Equipment, Fully Automated Farming

American farmers are all for embracing new trends in agriculture. In time for the exhibition, CASE IH, a company making farm and agricultural equipment, has been busy developing driverless vehicles for the farm. DOT Technology Corp., a Canadian firm also has a working model for driverless farm equipment. The industry is excited about this because it has numerous applications in farming and agriculture and the farmers are eagerly awaiting a field demonstration of this bold innovation.

Combine Harvester in a wheat field.

DOT’s creation is technically not a truck, since it is designed to be a platform for various custom-designed farm equipment. It does have four wheels, and a motor and carries the necessary equipment on top of it, as it goes through the field to do its designated tasks.

Adopting this type of technology in American farms could be an important first step in automating farms to increase efficiency and production.

Urban Farming and new Crops

Non-traditional farming methods are also a hot topic, especially since the wheat industry hasn’t been performing well.  This all-important grain is the principal crop grown in the US and over 50% of the harvest is exported to other countries each year. However, the prognosis for the wheat industry is not rosy.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture, only 46 million acres of land will be utilized to grow wheat in 2017, and 2018. This is an all-time low and the decline is attributed to low prices.

Because of this, farmers cutting back on wheat planting, as they might not recoup their investments. In place of traditional wheat farming, there is a promising market in growing wheat grass.

Wheat grass is planted from seeds, in densely packed containers away from the farm. This non-traditional farming method means farmers aren’t be dependent on the amount of land under cultivation for harvest. Vertical farming and other alternative forms are already being practiced with much success in China, even in densely populated cities.

The wheat grass seedlings are harvested immediately after germination, and immediately placed inside a food processor or blender to make “wheat grass juice.”

Future Market Insights predicts rising demand for wheat grass because of its countless health benefits. Its market is mainly middle-aged to elderly consumers who need to boost their immune systems.

Packed with vitamins A,B, C, E as well K, wheatgrass is also rich in iron, magnesium, sodium, and chlorophyll. Just an ounce of wheat grass juice is equivalent to consuming two pounds of vegetables in terms of nutritional value.


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