Highlights from IFCA 2019
Because of a quirk on the calendar, the annual Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) meeting in Peoria, IL, this year was held a week later than normal. On one hand, this gave attendees time to reflect on the aftereffects of the government shutdown (which ended on January 25). On the other, many attendees probably believed a later date for IFCA would be slightly warmer weather.
However, thanks to the polar vortex that hit much of the country during late January, this was far from the case. Without question, the No. 1 topic of discussion on the first day of the show was the weather. “This is the coldest it’s been in a generation,” said IFCA President Jean Payne, as the temperature dropped to minus 15 degrees by nightfall on January 29. And the next day, the actual air temperature was even colder – minus 22 degrees, with a wind chill of minus 40 degrees. Needless to say, there were plenty of car motors unable to start and thousands of flights cancelled in-and-out of the area during the show.
Despite the coldness of the weather, however, most IFCA 2019 attendees were quite happy about the outlook for the upcoming growing season. As Tim McArdle, Vice President for BRANDT, said: “With the shutdown finally over, it seems like customers are beginning to make some decisions about what to do in 2019.”
David Webster, Director of Application Equipment Marketing for AGCO Corp., agreed. “Things were a bit slow at the start of the month, but now that the government has re-opened for business, we are starting to see some activity in equipment interest, too,” said Webster.
In terms of activity on the floor of the IFCA 2019 event, many folks spent time at the Willmar Fabrication, LLC, booth, learning about the company’s line-up of Redball Hooded sprayers. According to company President Steve Clausen, several attendees wanted to learn more about how these kind of hoods for sprayers could help reduce the chances for off-target application, particularly when it came to applying dicamba. “We have conducted several studies on this, with some of the results printed on posters at our booth,” said Clausen.