Crop Production Show draws record crowd

Good weather and an optimistic industry helped draw a record crowd to this year’s Crop Production Show in Saskatoon, says an organizer.

Some 20,384 people, up two percent from last year, walked through the gates at Prairieland Park to attend industry meetings, presentations and a trade show over four days this week, just missing a large snowfall across southern Saskatchewan yesterday.

“Thursday, we might’ve been a little bit down from last year,” said Lori Cates, agriculture manager for Prairieland Park.

“That could’ve been because of the storm down south, but Tuesday and Wednesday were definitely huge days.”

A total of 327 companies filled 1,009 trade show booths at the event, which included additional outdoor displays, said Cates.

The annual event is held in conjunction with Crop Production Week in Saskatoon, where industry groups hold meetings at a separate venue.

“We were completely sold out again,” said Cates.

Both events will see changes next year with the addition of a third venue. Three producer groups — the Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission — will move their meetings from the Saskatoon Inn in the city’s north end to TCU Place downtown.

The move will allow for concurrent sessions and presentations while consolidating crowds for Pulse Days, where a separate audience has participated through videoconference from a room at Prairieland Park, said Kevin Hursh, Crop Production Week manager.

“It’s really all a work in progress and everybody’s trying to figure out how the agenda is going to work and how traffic flow is going to work, where the media is going to go and how sponsorship is going to work,” said Hursh.

“There’s been a lot of discussion back and forth.”

The changes will create additional meeting space for other production groups and might allow for an expansion of the trade show floor at Prairieland Park.

“That will definitely make some changes for our layout next year,” Cates said.

“(Saskatchewan Pulse Growers) had occupied quite a bit of space in one of our buildings and so with them not occupying that space, that may open up some more trade show space or we may choose to do some other type of educational or information sessions in that space.”