Four observations at Farm Progress Show

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Farmers from across Western Canada have gathered in Regina to see the the latest in machinery innovation at Fthe arm Progress Show. Real Agriculture has been coming to this show since 2010 and it hass has definitely changed over time, with the increased international visitors, a new competing summer show, and the highs and lows of the commodity markets.  

There are some things that myself and the team have noticed at this years show. 

  1. Volume of innovation has slowed in a down commodity market. There are still some really cool things but the amount of new fancy, flashy toys is down. We have definitely seen companies pushing products that are “NEW” and they are incremental change or would not be marketed three years ago. 
  2. Focus on efficiency and cutting costs instead of raising revenues. With commodity prices under pressure, especially corn being sub-four dollars for the last year, companies have changed their focus to cost-savings to appeal to the mood of the farmer. Even though corn is not the staple crop in Saskatchewan, the corn and soybean markets do drive the overall economic environment in machinery manufacturing.
  3. We’ve hit a plateau in getting bigger and wider. The competition to make the biggest/widest/longest product on the market seems to have taken a break. There might be a few exceptions, such as sprayers, but we haven’t come across much that’s bigger than it was last year or even two years ago. With increasing automation and the potential for a shift to smaller, autonomous machines, have we reached peak size?
  4. Speaking of corn, we are starting to see the appearance of corn headers and planting equipment, which we did not see even three years ago. With predictions from Monsanto of 10 million acres of corn in Western Canada, companies are getting a head start on establishing their brands in the Saskatchewan market.

All things considered and if you forget about how windy it has been, the show has been good, but you can definitely feel the impact of lower commodity prices and the competition of Ag in Motion (happens in July).

What did you see at the show? Let us know in the comment section.

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