Wisconsin Farm Technology Days kicks off in Barron County - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Wisconsin Farm Technology Days kicks off in Barron County


Barron County (WQOW) - Thousands of people have made their way to a Barron County farm. That's where Wisconsin's largest agricultural show kicked off Tuesday. Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is held in a different county each year. This year, the Breezy Hill Dairy Farm in Dallas is hosting.

"It's a crucial part of all their decisions they make daily," said Tim Jergenson, Wisconsin Farm Technology Days Executive Secretary.

Farmers often have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to getting the job done. And at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, new tools of the trade seem to stretch as far as the eye can see.

"It enables farmers to manage more units of production, whether it be more acres, more cows, more hogs, or whatever. And they can track the information much better," Jergenson explained.

How much better? Well, technology is making sure farmers don't miss any mechanical issues. Computers will know about an equipment error it the second it happens.

"The farmer customer might get a text message on a cell phone saying "Hey I've got an air filter that's getting ready to plug up," and the driver driving the tractor won't even know it. Technology makes that customer the most data he can get in real time," said Mark LaCross, John Deere Territory Manager.

But like most everything in life, there are both positives and negatives to the new technology.

"Certainly the structure of agriculture has changed. Fewer farms, but larger farms. It does create a bit of a problem for young people wanting to start up. They can't come in with a million dollars cash in their pocket and start buying up the assets that they need," said Jergenson.

The Wisconsin Farm Technology Days event is just three days long, but the relationship between agriculture and technology is here to stay.

"This side of Wisconsin when we first came out with for example auto steer auto track, they were all thinking "Boy that's for the big fields out in North Dakota, things like that. But I would say ninety-nine percent of tractors that go out today have auto steer auto track," said LaCross.

Many vendors are excited to show off their new technology. There are around 600 commercial and educational exhibitors at this year's farm technology days, each will be demonstrating new equipment side by side. John Deere says they have come up with a new technology that allows farmers to monitor soil conditions without having to set foot in the field.

"We have what we call a John Deere field connect station and that gives the customer accurate up to date instant weather analysis, soil temperature, rain gauge and different things so that if a farmer wants to put chemical on or additional water on his fields he will know how much to put on," said LaCross. Around 15,000 people are expected to visit the grounds each day. The event runs through Thursday.  For directions to the show and a list of exhibitors, click here.

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