Trade Show in Houston

(Photo: Iowa Soybean Association / Kriss Nelson)

Iowans among record-breaking crowd at Commodity Classic

March 7, 2024 | Kriss Nelson

 Titled “New Frontiers in Agriculture,” the 2024 Commodity Classic was home to the release of John Deere’s new 830 horsepower 9RX tractor and showcased the world of biologicals and other advancements.

Whether representing a company or as a first-time visitor, Iowans were among the record more than 11,000 attendees to the show held in Houston last week.

This was Calhoun County farmer James Hepp’s first visit to Commodity Classic.

An ISA member, Hepp explored more than 325,000 square feet of the event’s trade show, but he also used his visit to network with farmers.

While attending gatherings such as the show’s First Timer’s lunch, Hepp had the opportunity to visit with farmers from Canada, Texas and other states.

“I enjoyed meeting with like-minded farmers looking to farm better,” says Hepp.

Hepp says he enjoyed the opportunities to visit with company officials at booths.

“I enjoyed the one-on-one chances to visit with actual agronomists and not just salesman,” he says. “The information I received was good and direct.”

Providing a farmer’s perspective

John Hanson, a Webster County farmer from Callender, was invited to the 2024 Commodity Classic to provide a farmer’s perspective on Environmental Tillage Systems' Soil Warrior.Environmental Tillage Systems

“We have been using the Soil Warrior machine for our strip-till operation for more than five years, and I am here to talk to other farmers about our experience with it,” says Hanson.

This was Hanson’s first visit to Commodity Classic.

“I have always wanted to come to the show to see the new technology and equipment from other companies we don’t see at home,” he says.

Sharing the carbon story

Mitchell Hora, farmer, founder, and CEO of Continuum Ag in Washington, presented about carbon intensity during a panel discussion at Commodity Classic.

“Carbon intensity is the amount of energy that goes into every bushel of corn and soybeans,” says Hora. “That is important because the carbon intensity per bushel is part of the carbon intensity per gallon of ethanol, biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. The lower the carbon footprint of our bushels, the lower the carbon footprint will be for our fuels.”

This was Hora’s first time attending the event, allowing him to visit with farmers about his company’s offerings and take part in podcasts and other panel discussions.

Continuum Ag reaches 43 states and 20 countries with 40 employees.

 “It’s been fun to visit with folks I know and meet new people in the ag industry, which is massive, yet small at the same time as we are all working toward the same goals,” says Hora. “It’s great that farmers provide food, fuel and fiber for the world, but we need to do it with a lower carbon footprint that positively impacts water quality and the environment,” says Hora. “So many farmers have already been doing this, but we must continue raising awareness.”

Investing in sprayer technology

Ag Leader Technology, headquartered in Ames, sponsored a session on the benefits of investing in sprayer technology.Ag Leader

During the presentation, Logan Handsaker, product sales specialist for Ag Leader Technology, discussed the company’s new RightSpot and BoomLoop products.

“RightSpot with BoomLoop in the cab enhances the overall spraying experience with improved sprayer efficacy, including consistent coverage and rate applications,” says Handsaker.

Whether a farmer uses Ag Leader Technology or another company's products, investing in sprayer technology provides a variety of benefits, including reducing inputs by increasing efficiency with the products being applied—ultimately affecting a farmer’s bottom line.

“Coverage and application quality are going to be important and something we need to focus on as an industry because the tools will not outpace the weeds' ability,” says Handsaker. “Farmers need to maximize the impact and efficacy of what they apply to help them capture the entire yield potential of that bag of seed. Coverage quality and consistency across those acres are critical.”

Commodity Classic 2025 will be held March 2-4 in Denver, Co.