It’s Commodity Classic Time!

As I write this week’s column, I’m heading to Tampa, FL, for the annual Commodity Classic show. The event, hosted by the various commodity grower associations, has become a showplace for many of the ag industry’s biggest suppliers – particularly crop protection product manufacturers and equipment makers. In fact, coupled with the annual National Farm Machinery Show, held last month in Louisville, KY, and the World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA, agricultural observers can pretty much find out everything they need to know about the upcoming planting season based upon what is being introduced and/or discussed at these events.

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Now, at both the World Ag Expo and the National Farm Machinery Show, the buzz was overwhelmingly positive. Virtually everyone I talked with at these two shows reported their companies were “extremely busy” and “selling almost everything we have to sell.” This view was supported by the number of manufacturers who were launching new products and wanted to see them off to members of the ag media (such as myself).

I expect this same scenario to play out at the 2011 Commodity Classic. Unlike the 2010 show, which seemed to have a cautiously optimistic vibe, the mood surrounding the 2011 event seems very positive. There are a lot of companies holding press briefings, with several sponsoring separate by-invitation-only events to tout their products. Based upon past experiences, this bodes well for the agricultural industry in general.

Next week, I will give you a full wrap up of what was noteworthy at this year’s Commodity Classic. And I hope to see many of you in Tampa later this week!

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