By PAUL COWLEY
One of Western Canada’s premier agriculture shows is already off to a good start with a record number of exhibitors.
Agri-Trade Equipment Expo, running Wednesday through Saturday, is coming off its best show in a decade in 2015. Last year, about 425 exhibitors showcased their wares at the exposition of farming technology, innovation and equipment.
More than 470 exhibitors have already been signed up for the 33rd version of Agri-Trade run by Westerner Park and the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce, said show manager Dave Fiddler.
“It looks really good,” said Fiddler. “We’ve had more outdoor exhibits than we’ve ever had.”
While weather has been messing with harvest season, with many farmers still busy getting their crops in, the growing season was excellent.
“There were lots of good prices in canola and different commodities and I think that is encouraging people to consider that this is going to be a year when farmers are going to be spending money,” said Fiddler.
“Even though the harvest has been delayed, the harvest that was got off was a very valuable commodity.
“For example, I talked to one farmer the other day, he had 55 per cent of his crop off, but he had more grain in the bin than he had all of last year.”
As is custom, Ag Innovation winners were announced ahead of the event. A panel of farmers and business people judge some of the ingenious innovations agricultural producers have dreamed up.
First place this year went to The STOCKade St400i, a cordless fencing stapler and a FenceFast Ltd. product. The device allows one-handed fencing stapling with the power of pneumatic stapler but without the compressors and hoses.
Second place went to Raczynski Sales Inc. for its Tire Jogger. The skid steer farm tire handler is pitched as a safe and easy way to handle large farm tires.
A tire lying on the ground can be picked up, flipped and rotated to be mounted without the operator needing to touch it.
Tires were again part of the latest innovations with Michelin North America (Canada) Inc.’s third-place winning Cargo X Bib High Flotation 750/60R30.5 tire.
The self-cleaning tire offers a larger footprint that is compatible with central tire inflation system technology, meaning the tire is efficient on the road and on the field.