LONDON, Ohio -- With near-perfect weather, close to 600 exhibitors and a successful collaboration between Ohio State and Purdue universities, Farm Science Review saw attendance increase 8.5 percent over last year to nearly 130,000 visitors.
"We had an excellent year," said Chuck Gamble, Farm Science Review manager. "We had a good crop this year and when that happens, the outlook from farmers visiting and buying and from the exhibitors who are selling is always positive." Soybeans harvested on the grounds of the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, where Farm Science Review is held, averaged over 50 bushels an acre, while corn averaged 165 bushels per acre. According to the Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service, statewide soybean yield is forecasted at 46 bushels per acre, while corn yield is forecasted at 160 bushels per acre.
Farm Science Review, held annually the third week of September in London, Ohio, is the state's premiere agricultural event and one of the nation's top farm shows, serving farmers through the Midwest with production agriculture-related research, events, field demonstrations and equipment. This is the show's 44th year.
"The exhibitors I spoke with said Farm Science Review turned out to be an excellent show for them, meaning they were successful in conducting sales, making contacts with customers and networking with other companies," said Gamble. "Visitors to the Review did some buying and they did a lot of window shopping. Where else can you go to have all the top agriculture companies lined up? Farm Science Review is a venue where the marketing effort goes on all year, not for just three days."
Farm Science Review saw the return of Purdue University as a collaborator with Ohio State University to provide visitors with research and Extension specialists on topics ranging from biofuels to health and nutrition to timber production.
"We heard a lot of good things regarding the educational efforts that Ohio State and Purdue were bringing to the Review," said Gamble. "When you can borrow on the strengths of both organizations, it brings nothing but good, positive results and useful information to the table that Review visitors can take advantage of."
Gamble said that Purdue University will be invited to Farm Science Review again next year and hopes to see the partnership of programs offered expanded.
"One partnership is in the area of grain handling," said Gamble. "Now that we are seeing a rise in ethanol production, companies are going to need grain throughout the year. Farmers, historically, begin moving their stored grain before the next planting season. But now it will be important for them to learn techniques with storing grain over the long term."
Additionally, Gamble hopes that Farm Science Review will continue with its conservation management efforts, specifically in the area of field drainage control structures. The Ohio Land Improvement Contractors Association (OLICA) installed drainage structures during this year's show to educate farmers on how to manage water levels in their crop field, and Gamble anticipates OLICA to return next year.
In addition to the boost in farm programs, general improvements were made to the Farm Science Review site that visitors should expect to see again next year. One is the new laneways for golf carts.
"We marked the paved areas to encourage golf cart users to drive down the center lane to cut back on issues related with golf carts and pedestrians," said Gamble. "We do what we can to accommodate those that need carts, but Farm Science Review has always been and will continue to be a pedestrian show. Safety is what we are after."
Farm Science Review is sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the academic units of the university's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The next show is scheduled for Sept. 18-20, 2007. For more information, log on to http://fsr.osu.edu.