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Wendy Reuer, Published September 11 2012

Drought isn’t a factor in Big Iron expo sales

WEST FARGO – When Braden Halvorson prepared for this year’s Big Iron Farm Show here, he wasn’t concerned the nation’s drought would affect sales.

But the warm, dry, windy conditions on Tuesday’s opening day did worry the territory sales manager for Holland AG.

“I was looking at the corn out there and thinking, ‘uh-oh.’ If the guys are out there taking corn and beans out of the ground, then it’s going to be a pretty slow show,” he said.

The agricultural expo is expected to draw about 80,000 visitors and more than 850 exhibitors to the three-day show.

Ed Miller retired after 55 years of farming near Wolverton, Minn.

Miller, whose son now farms, said the area has not seen the drought conditions other areas of the country have.

“Oh, I know what it’s like to have a dry year,” he said.

Last year’s high returns and bumper crops in the area have more of an effect on 2012 buying power, Halvorson said.

“This year’s sales, oftentimes, are going to be based on last year’s income,” he said.

He said one year of dry conditions in the northern Plains will not affect farmers’ pocketbooks and buying decisions the way consecutive years of severe drought have affected the South.

“There are places in the country that are much worse than we are,” Halvorson said. “Everyone’s hesitant. With the drought, guys are keeping their eyes on the prices.”

South Dakota-based Keith Halvorson, director of business development for Manufacturing Co. Inc., said business has been good for the manufacturer of attachment equipment despite the dry conditions.

“Our business has more to do with people with chores, so business has been better for us,” he said.

He said Tuesday’s opening day of Big Iron was one of the strongest he has seen in his years of exhibiting at the show.

Miller said the changes in agriculture technology on display at Big Iron have swiftly changed the industry.

“The way farming has turned around in the last 15 years is just unbelievable,” he said. “Farming is just about as bad as computers. A computer comes out this year and it’s obsolete the next.”

If you go

What: Big Iron Farm Show

When: Today through Thursday

Where: Red River Valley Fairgrounds

Info: The show is from 9 a.m. to

5 p.m. today, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission and parking are free. For more, visit bigironfarmshow.com

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530

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