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National Farm Machinery Show overview

Agriculture.com Staff 02/22/2007 @ 8:50am

Even a massive snowstorm that raged across the central part of the Corn Belt couldn't keep farmers and ranchers away from what has become the largest agricultural event in North America and possibly the world. Although official figures aren't in yet, show officials estimate that this year's attendance will exceed that of last year's record breaking 312,000 spectators. "We saw a slow first day because of the snow," explains Amanda Storment of the Kentucky Exhibition Center, the host of the National Farm Machinery Show. "But the other three days of the show certainly were jammed packed. So it certainly looks like we will break last year's attendance record."

And it wasn't just attendance that was high at this year's National. The prospect of $3-plus corn and $8-plus soybeans had a lot of orders being filled for the event's largest commodity - iron. "We expected interest in new machinery purchases but are somewhat surprised at the interest being displayed at this year's show," observes Steve Claussen of Redball Manufacturing.

Typically, smaller items such as shop tools and small implements are readily sold at the show. But this year orders were being taken for larger items such as sprayers, balers, planters or grain carts. Even $100,000-plus machinery had many takers. "Tom Dean, Case IH's manager of mid-size horsepower tractors found that farmers were going beyond kicking tires and asking about purchase terms during the show. "We have had as high an interest in purchasing tractors as I have seen in a long time," Dean added.

The hype from high commodity prices wasn't lost of investor in farm machinery manufacturing. Ann Duignan of Bear, Stearns & Company of New York observed that the attitude of manufacturers was as good as she had ever seen it in all the year's she has tracked the industry. "Financial advisers are turning their attention to farm machinery as a safe haven for their money. Deere's recent high stock prices and Case IH's 2006 profits are attracting attention in this regard," she points out.

Even a massive snowstorm that raged across the central part of the Corn Belt couldn't keep farmers and ranchers away from what has become the largest agricultural event in North America and possibly the world. Although official figures aren't in yet, show officials estimate that this year's attendance will exceed that of last year's record breaking 312,000 spectators. "We saw a slow first day because of the snow," explains Amanda Storment of the Kentucky Exhibition Center, the host of the National Farm Machinery Show. "But the other three days of the show certainly were jammed packed. So it certainly looks like we will break last year's attendance record."

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