Observations from MAGIE 2018: Another Strong Year
It’s hard to believe another summer show season is already behind us. Soon, grower-customer fields will be bristling with activity as the fall harvest gets underway.
Before putting summer behind us completely, it probably is a good time to reflect back on some of the buzz and talk that came out of the this year’s crop of ag retail equipment-oriented trade shows. Although there are several events that cater to the equipment needs of both growers and retailers, most folks I know tend to gauge how the market is performing by what they heard/saw at the annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show, held each August in Bloomington, IL.
This year’s MAGIE was memorable for many reasons: The perfect weather (with temperatures in the mid-70s), the fine food (exhibitor Doyle going through more than 800 pork-on-a-sticks in a little over two hours the first day!), and the introduction of the MAGIE Image Award to the exhibitor that had the best overall booth display (congrats to Sievers JCB!). Better still, most of the activity at this year’s MAGIE concerned the continued high hopes that equipment makers have for the overall health of the agricultural marketplace. The 2017 MAGIE featured dozens of new product launches — and this year’s show virtually matched that pace. Many large suppliers reported that their overall sales in 2018 were “up slightly from 2017, which isn’t bad considering how slow things were just a few years before that.”
Jean Payne, President of the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, the show’s sponsor, also was positive. “Our attendance in 2018 was almost as strong as it was in 2017, which set a record for MAGIE with more than 3,000 visitors during the two-day show,” said Payne. “And I was encouraged to see many new exhibitors step up and put their best foot forward, such as MAGIE Image Award winner Sievers JCB, which was a first-time exhibitor.”
So as the fall show seasons winds down and the ag market gets ready to embark on the 2019 growing season, hopefully, things will keep looking up!