LONDON, Ohio — You can look, you can touch, you can drive, you can learn, and, yes, you can kick a whole bunch of tires at the 2018 Farm Science Review.
The annual farm show, coordinated and sponsored by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, will be held at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio, Sept. 18-20.
And with more exhibitors — 650 at last count — the Farm Science Review showcases the latest in ag equipment, technology and services, for farmers of all sizes and commodities.
The show’s exhibit space is also bigger this year, says Nick Zachrich, manager of Farm Science Review, with the addition of roughly 20 acres between the exhibit area and the parking lot, including an expanded 10-acre “Ride and Drive” area on the east side of the exhibit area for smaller, compact tractors and UTVs.
The expansion is in the area where the OSU Extension agronomic crops team had their mini plots and displays. The team and plots are still part of the Review, but are now inside the chain link fence (which was moved) between Gates B and C.
Inside the fence, the exhibit space expansion area has gravel drives and utilities for now, Zachrich said, but it gives the Review more space to develop down the road.
More than 113,000 people attended the 2017 Review, with Wednesday drawing the largest crowd at 50,880 attendees.
It’s tough to say which is the bigger draw — the main exhibit area or the more than 600 acres of land that hold field demonstrations such as corn and soybean harvesting, tillage, nutrient applications, cornstalk shredding and baling, and drainage installations.
As always, you can catch the shuttle wagons to the field demos and the Gwynne Conservation Area at the west end of Friday Avenue. They run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“The crops for us look great,” Zachrich said, “and we’re excited about that. It’s going to be a great demonstration.”
He knows that if it’s harvest time at the Review, it’s also often harvest time for other farmers, but added, “we encourage farmers to take a break for a day and visit us.”
He also recognizes the realities of a grim farm economy right now and that farmers might not be in a buying mood. But there are other reasons to come to the Review.
“There are a lot of ways to improve efficiencies around the farm,” Zachrich said, “to improve your operation so it is more economical that will save you in the long run.”
You can find that help at the Review, both from exhibitors and from the many educational presentations that run all week — from tips for backyard maple syrup production to updates on grazing annuals, and from home butchering to the farm bill.
Presentations can be found all across the Review grounds — at the Gwynne Conservation Center, in the agronomy plots area, the Ask the Expert spot, the Small Farm Center, at Utzinger Memorial Garden, in many of the OSU buildings and tents.
One of the new OSU Extension locations is the Beef Education Corral, at 495 Beef Street. Zachrich said the goal is to offer more education for livestock producers, and the OSU Extension Beef Team is getting the ball rolling.
The tent will feature displays with some cattle handling equipment, and Extension educators and specialists, as well as commercial exhibitors, will be offering demos, presentations on safety practices and quality assurance.
“We’re just getting started, but it would be exciting for people to stop by.”
What you won’t see are the infrastructure updates on the Review grounds, but you’ll appreciate the results. Remember last year’s rain and mud fest? A three-year drainage project continued on the main exhibit area, with a major sub main installed this year.
That means if it rains again, you’ll hopefully see less water laying around the site.
If you go
Farm Science Review is located two miles north of London, Ohio, at the intersection of U.S. Route 40 and state Route 38.
Before you go, you can download the Farm Science Review app. You can search for exhibitors, educational sessions (you can create reminders so you don’t miss one!), see photos and maps, and connect via social media.
Tickets are $7 online, at OSU Extension county offices and participating agribusinesses, including Farm and Dairy’s office, and $10 at the gate. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free.
Show hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.