As many as 140,000 agricultural enthusiasts will flock to Madison County over a three-day period beginning today for the annual Farm Science Review (FSR) — and local businesses are ready for the crowd.
Sponsored by Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the premier agricultural event will be held through Thursday on the Molly Caren Agricultural Center at the intersection of U.S. Route 40 and State Route 38.
Participants are able to peruse 4,000 product lines from roughly 620 commercial exhibitors and engage in educational workshops, presentations and demonstrations delivered by experts from Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, which are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the college.
FSR brings a spike in activity at the Madison County Fairgrounds, according to Bob Richardson, marketing representative for the Madison County Agricultural Society.
The society rents camping space to FSR attendees who visit in the RVs, which brings some income into town.
Also, companies who power wash manufacturers’ equipment displayed at the FSR fill their tanks at the fairgrounds and they pay the fairgrounds for that service.
Local businesses are also prepared to feed the extra mouths.
“I expect us to get some kind of business, said Leah Bryan of Henry’s Restaurant, 6275 U.S. Route 40 SE. “We’re open and we’re hopin’.”
Bob Capuano of Cappy’s Pizza said the FSR has already has a positive affect on his business on Lafayette Street in its new location. Businesses who exhibit at Molly Caren have sent advance teams in, and they’ve found Cappy’s for dinner.
“It’s a positive affect for seven days, in the beginning and during set up,” Capuano said.
The theme for this year’s FSR is “Sharp Ideas, Sharp Equipment and Sharp Results.”
Some of the issues participants can expect to learn more about include the agriculture economy, grain markets, land values and cash rents, said FSR manager Chuck Gamble.
“Because we’ve had a good planting season so far, it will likely lead to lower prices — that’s the challenge growers are facing right now,” he continued. “Lower grain prices are causing farmers to seek ways to lower costs, improve efficiencies and to improve marketing.”
Other review highlights will include:
• Plot demonstrations on corn, soybean, cover crops and bio-energy crops in plots established at the eastern edge of the review exhibit area
• Daily field demonstrations in the fields north of I-70
• A comprehensive demonstration of unmanned aerial system for real-time crop surveillance. Drones can be used to provide useful local site-specific data including crop scouting and geo-referencing.
Review rickets are $10 at the gate. Children 5 and under are admitted free. Show hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.
Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.