Some of the latest and greatest machinery on display at Colorado Farm Show
Buddy Truesdell on Tuesday found himself thinking back to a time, about 30 years ago, when the farm machinery industry was “setting the world on fire” with harvesting equipment that could cut three rows of corn – not just one or two – in one swipe and was running on more than 200 horsepower.
The thought made him chuckle a bit.
Perhaps that laughter was based on the fact that while being there in reflection, Truesdell, the owner of B&G Equipment in Greeley, was standing next to his dealership’s 2012 Claas Jaguar forage harvester – an 885-horsepower machine that, with a head wide enough to chop down 12 rows of corn at once, can cut and process into silage about 350 tons of corn in an hour.
“You talk to some of the older farmers here, and they’ll tell you that’s the amount of corn they used to cut in an entire season,” Truesdell said, standing in the Events Center at Island Grove Regional Park, a building filled with Colorado Farm Show attendees and other vendors. “Technology sure is changing the industry.”
Truesdell was one of about 300 vendors present at the event Tuesday – the opening day of the farm show. The event will run through Thursday.
The hundreds of other vendors who stretched across the three buildings at the Greeley park represented farmer and rancher organizations, agriculture lenders, ag media, as well as ag technology companies, tool businesses, irrigation specialists, and implement and machinery dealerships – all on hand to promote their services and to let attendees know what’s new in the ag world.
Of the estimated 12,000 people who attended the opening day of the farm show, many found themselves stopping to take a closer look at the latest and greatest farm machinery on display – particularly the Claas Jaguar.
Truesdell, who has sold farm machinery for 35 years and has owned B&G Equipment for almost 25, along with his employee, Ty Rankin, spent the day explaining such things as how the forage harvester can cut and process enough corn to fill a semi-truck load in less than four minutes.
They talked of the machine’s automated steering feature and its computer system that automatically keeps track of yields and moisture content as the machine moves through a field. They described how the harvester – which, in addition to corn, can be used for cutting milo and sorghum – automatically greases its moving parts every 15 minutes, rather than the farmer spending an hour at the end of the day having to do so, and how, with the push of a button from inside the cab, the front cutters fold up to allow the machine to drive down the road – at 25 mph – to the next field.
And they answered one commonly asked question.
“This machine costs about $625,000,” Rankin said, noting that the dealership’s 2012 four-wheel-drive tractors run about $400,000 and new combines range from $300,000 to $350,000.
Those high price tags didn’t keep farm show attendees from at least looking at the machinery on display.
“People are always interested in seeing what’s new,” said Mike Fergus, manager at G&M Implement, which has locations in Greeley and Sterling.
Fergus had spent Tuesday at the farm show talking about his company’s new Massey-Ferguson WR9770 hay swather, a $130,000 machine with a 16-foot cutting width that now runs on 225 horsepower – up from the 185 horsepower featured in last year’s model – and can run at 21 mph on the road – after last year’s could only hit speeds of 15 mph, as he described.
In addition, that machine, like the other new Massey-Ferguson machines onhand by the G&M table, comes with GPS already installed, “instead of it just being an afterthought, or added to the machine later.”
“It is impressive what the industry keeps putting out each year,” Fergus said, not long after detailing how the new Massey-Ferguson tractor he was leaning against at the time has a Tier 4 Interim engine that’s ahead of its time in regards to meeting federal emission standards. “It’s good that people have a chance to come out here and see all of it.”