ponics to produce plants in greenhouses. The water and nutrients
excreted from fish raised in tanks is used to fertilize the greenhouse
plants. After the plants use the water and nutrients, the water is recirculated back to the
tanks where the fish
are grown. You’ll see
the new aquaponics
greenhouse in the
northern end of the
exhibit grounds, near
the alpaca exhibits.
The aquaponics system you’ll see
at Expo will be provided by HATponics. A new highlight of the aquaculture exhibits will
be a gourmet chef who will be conducting cooking demonstrations
that feature catfish and other farm-raised seafood.
Harvesting of the Expo crops, along with tillage and other land preparation practices in the fields, are among the highlights of the equipment demonstrations.
In fact, the harvesting and tillage field demonstrations, along
with driving ranges for tractors, pickups and all-terrain vehicles, help
set the Expo apart from other static farm shows.
The Expo research farm is named after the late Darrell Williams,
long-time Expo farm manager. It continues to be a proving ground
for the latest in agricultural technology. For instance, a 22-acre crop
plot is providing new information on how to control herbicide-resis-tant pigweed.
Peanut plots are providing new information about fertilizer benefits, new varieties and whether or not plant growth regulators will
Forage work includes evaluations of bermudagrass varieties and
the testing of possible controls for stem maggot insects.
Other studies at the Expo farm are aimed at evaluating costs and
efficiency of using propane gas to fuel irrigation systems.
One of the most popular demonstrations in the crop fields features
tractor-driving ranges by major farm equipment manufacturers.
This year, a special driving range will be offered for manufacturers
of compact tractors and tractors with less than 50 horsepower. The
compact tractor driving range made its debut at the 2015 Sunbelt
Expo, and will be expanded this year to
include tractors from several manufac-
This and other driving ranges will
be located in the crop fields, and the
best way to reach these sites will be
to ride the Expo shuttle wagons. The
shuttles will offer shaded tractor-
drawn rides out to the fields where
harvesting and tillage and other special displays can be found.
The Expo has had strong support over its long history from Land
Grant colleges and historically black agricultural colleges and universities, along with many other junior colleges and technical colleges
serving students in the Southeast states. Many of these schools will
have Expo exhibits that offer valuable information to prospective
and current students, alumni, and friends.
The Expo has set aside special locations for exhibits related to various phases of the farming industry. For example, animal agriculture
will be well represented with exhibits and demonstrations focusing
on horses, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep and goats, poultry, and
aquaculture or fish farming.
You’ll see a wide assortment of tractors and farming equipment
in many of the outside exhibits. These equipment displays will offer
products that can be used on both large and small farms. Exhibits in
the agribusiness buildings will focus on precision farming services,
hunting and fishing exhibits, and governmental agencies serving
farmers. You’ll see many other farm-related services and products
in the agribusiness buildings located down the center of the show
Other special exhibit sections will offer a wide array of irrigation
equipment, pickups and trucks, forestry equipment, and sawmills.
And other sections will focus on electricity, propane gas and all-terrain vehicles.
STOCK DOG TRIALS/ANTIQUE TRAC TORS
The American Grand Finals stock dog trials remain one of the Expo’s
most popular attractions. Another always popular attraction is the
antique tractors at locations WC- 7 and WC- 8. They will also parade
through the exhibit grounds each afternoon at 2:00.
Overall, you’ll find more than 1,200 exhibits worthy of your time.
In particular, you may want to visit Highland Precision Ag (location
A- 3). The company provides services for farmers from soil sampling
through marketing, as well as unmanned aerial vehicle flights over
farms to provide production information that can help with growing
better crops. Highland Precision Ag is dedicated to assisting growers in implementing precision farming practices in order to make
fast and accurate decisions in identifying diseases, monitoring crop
growth, and maximizing yield — all from a user-friendly dashboard.
SUSTAINABLE LIVING EXHIBITS
The Sustainable Living exhibit section (location WB- 7) can be found
in the western section of the exhibit grounds. There you’ll see garden
plots and a host of exhibits geared to small farms and for folks who
simply enjoy country living. For instance, Bekaert will have an exhibit
on fencing basics and how to build and to brace a simple fence. In
addition, they will exhibit their full line of fencing products (at location D- 8).
The National Corn Growers Association (location WC- 11) will exhibit a NASCAR racing car that has been equipped to run on ethanol.
The exhibit will offer information on the many benefits of American-grown ethanol and other biofuels.
If wild hogs are causing problems on your farm, check out an
exhibit that will be co-sponsored by both the U.S. Department of
Agriculture and the University of Georgia (at location D- 8). You’ll find
valuable information on what can be done to control feral hogs.
CONTINUED NEX T PAGE
The 2016 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Farmer of the Year will be announced.