Over 600 exhibitors expected for 3-day ag show in Decatur

The Farm Progress Show — which bills itself as the nation's largest outdoor farm show — begins its three-day run Tuesday in Decatur.

The show, which is expected to attract tens of thousands of people, will be located at 4275 E. Mound Road on Decatur's east side.

To get there from Champaign, take Interstate 72 west to Exit 150 — the Argenta/Oreana exit — then take Macon County Highway 25 south to Macon County Highway 24 and go west.

The show alternates each year between Decatur and Boone, Iowa. Next year's show is scheduled for Aug. 26-28, 2014, in Boone.

Cost of admission for this year's show is $15 for adults and $8 for those ages 13 to 17.

More than 600 exhibitors are expected this year, and an extra tent has been put up to accommodate 70 new exhibitors, said Dena Morgan, who handles special projects for Farm Progress Companies, the agriculture information business that organizes the show.

Exhibits will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.

The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences tent will feature the largest group of exhibitors in history, according to Kendra Corson, the college's special events director.

Among the exhibits in the ACES tent will be a demonstration of corn and rice extrusion, a conversion of grain to fermentable mash and a robotics demonstration.

Also in the UI tent, farm broadcaster Orion Samuelson will provide a daily show at 10:30 a.m. each day. Live market reports and analysis will be provided at 2 p.m.

Here's an overview of some of the other demonstrations, discussions and entertainment at the Farm Progress Show this year:

Demonstrations

— Tiling demonstrations by the Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association, 9 to 10 a.m. all three days and 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

— Cattle-handling demonstrations, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day in the Livestock Industries Tent.

— Horsemanship demonstrations by Tommy Garland, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day.

— Tillage demonstration, 2 to 3 p.m. each day.

However, there won't be demonstration of how the latest equipment performs at harvest because cool weather this summer delayed the growth of corn. Organizers said harvesting the demonstration crop early wouldn't have given farmers a realistic demonstration of vendors' machinery.

Discussions

— "Where Are Grain Markets Headed This Fall?" by Paul Burgener, market analyst for Farm Futures, 9 to 10 a.m. each day in the seminar center.

— "Grain Market Opportunities for 2014" by Bryce Knorr of Farm Futures, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. each day in the seminar center.

Entertainment

— Battle Creek Band, 9 to 10 a.m., 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 4 p.m. each day in the Rural Life Tent.

— Fashion at the Farm Progress Show, 10 to 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 2 p.m. each day.

— Kendra Smiley's "A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to The Tractor," 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. each day.

— "Exploring Illinois Quilt Block Patterns" with the Decatur Quilters Guild, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day.

— "Fused Glass Jewelry and How It Is Made," by Steve Trebacz of The Glass House, 2 to 2 :30 p.m. each day.

— "Roadside Wildflowers" with Sue Robinson, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. each day.

Related events

Two other events are being held in conjunction with the Farm Progress Show. Both are at other sites and require tickets not included in the show's admission price.

— Great Lakes Hybrids Farm Progress Show Shootout tractor pulls, 6:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the Macon County Fairgrounds, 3700 N. Westlawn Ave. Online tickets are available for $6 to $16 for single shows and $11 to $26 for two-day tickets.

— Country music artist Chris Cagle in concert, 5 p.m. Wednesday at Richland Community College, south of the Farm Progress Show exhibit field. Tickets are $18 in advance and $25 at the gate.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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