Vendors at the Eastern Idaho Ag Expo said Idaho farmers are optimistic based on improved prices of a few key commodities, and they’re looking to upgrade equipment and procure new services.
The Ag Expo is hosted at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena from Jan. 21-23, in conjunction with the Idaho Potato Conference, hosted from Jan. 22-23 at the university’s Pond Student Union Building.
The vendors brought their latest technology, which is getting bigger, faster and more efficient. Most of them say their sales have been holding steady or are up significantly, as area farmers have finally caught a break with stronger potato, sugar beet and dairy prices.
“It’s been a very good year. We ride that wave with everybody,” said Shane Mitchell, marketing director with Blackfoot-based Milestone. “I would say the last two years (business has) been very good. The amount of people who feel comfortable with going ahead with the purchase, that’s been greater this year.”
Milestone manufactures potato seed cutters and equipment used for sorting, piling and loading spuds into storage. Mitchell said his company has noticed a sizeable increase in customers placing advanced orders.
Richard Johnson, a Blackfoot farmer and regional sales manager for Lemken USA, brought a new machine to the expo designed to plow residue and plant a field in cover crops in a single pass, thereby cutting a step for farmers who typically use a fertilizer spreader to plant cover crop seeds after tilling.