Summer officially arrives this week, but for many of us, it seems the hottest time of the year has already been underway for a bit. For many weeks now, temperatures in our part of the Midwest have regularly topped the 90 degree mark and, unlike last year, there has been a serious shortfall in the rain department (down about two inches from our average in our neck of the woods). Despite this fact, the crops in my area seem healthy enough, with most of the corn well on its way to being “knee high by the fourth of July.”
With most of the spring field work behind it, the agricultural community can now focus on the many “bigger picture” events that typically crop up during the months of June, July and August. In about one month, trade show season will kick off with the biennial International Conference on Precision Agriculture, taking place this year in Indianapolis, IN. Rotating in frequency with the InfoAg Conference, this meeting gathers together all the key players from the world of precision agriculture to discuss key trends, market issues and various concerns for the future of the industry.
This will be followed by the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) and Farm Progress Show in Boone, IA. At both of these events, ag retailers can get a glimpse of all the latest equipment and input innovations slated to appear in the marketplace during the fall and winter months.
And many agricultural eyes will remain fixed on the nation’s capital and the continuing efforts bylegislators to hammer out the 2012 Farm Bill. As various industry association folks have observed, “virtually every program is on the table for debate,” which has anyone who makes a living from agriculture curious to see what favorite (or necessary) programs of theirs will be cut back – or cut out.
So happy summer, everyone! As always, it will be an interesting time of year . . .