This morning the Hay and Forage Expo took off in Boone, Iowa.
The show focuses on equipment, services and products specialized for hay. During the two day event there are mowing, bailing, and hay handling demonstrations among companies.
Marketing Specialist for Farm Progress Companies Dena Morgan says haying is an emerging industry; Iowa is a big calf cow state and with new cellulosic ethanol plants springing up more farmers here are interested in how to efficiently harvest their hay.
She says the expo plants forage on nearly two hundred acres, which will become the parking lots for the Farm Progress Show later this year. Mowing forage on that much ground gives an equal playing field for companies to show products, and visitors to watch.
Morgan says, "This is a great place for exhibitors to launch those new products and to have them in the demonstrations I think that's what's so unique about this show is that it's a very demonstration intensive event. So it's a great time to get out there and see different mowers out there mowing in the same field under the same conditions where you can compare different competitors to each other. So it's a great place to see those new products actually in action."
Morgan says record corn prices in the last few years drove some farmers to plant cash crops in pastures. With prices down, more of that is going back to hay production. She adds that farmers have an increasing interest in conserving their waterways, and they've found that harvesting grasses that grow on them can be profitable.