Show brings in $500M

Early estimates indicate more than $500 million in sales were brokered in the International Business Centre during last week’s Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina.

Organizers didn’t yet have specifics, but survey results in the IBC showed the total had been reached by the end of the second day of the three-day event.

“It just goes to show the significance of agricultural technology and the impact that our Saskatchewan and western Canadian-based manufacturers have on the global market,” said show chair Rene Carpentier.

Sales will continue to be made as a result of contacts developed last week.

“It’s not unusual for some of the major manufacturers to start loading containers next week (after each show),” said show manager Shirley Janeczko.

She said a large international presence of more than 700 people from 52 countries was key to the show’s success. Large delegations from Australia and Mongolia attended, and delegations from India, Kazakhstan and Russia returned after an absence of a couple of years.

Attendance was pegged at 41,000, assisted by a strong second day of 15,690.

Janeczko said some exhibitors told her they hadn’t seen such good traffic at their booths since the 1990s and were most pleased that they saw qualified buyers.

The ongoing construction of Mosaic Stadium and the International Trade Centre at Evraz Place put a strain on space, but Janeczko said she spoke with more than 200 outdoor exhibitors and most understood the growing pains.

Carpentier predicted happier exhibitors once they are no longer dealing with mud from overnight rain.

The show now covers 1.9 million sq. feet and will eventually have access to landscaped areas around the new stadium and possibly some of the field surface inside if warranted.

Judges recognized three new innovations with gold standard awards: Maverick Industries of Morden, Man., for a horizontal fuel tank pump guard and solar power supply pack; Devloo Roto Mud Scrapers of Somerset, Man., for a canola green seed tester and Airguard Inc. of Abbotsford, B.C., for an air seeder blockage prevention system.

Silver standards went to: Arnold Innovations of Hamiota, Man.; BN Equipment of Wymark, Sask.; Dimo’s/Labtronics of Winnipeg; Sunnybrook Welding & Machine Shop of Sunnybrook, Alta.; Ag Leader Technology of Ames, Iowa and Intragrain Technologies Inc. of Regina.

An annual highlight, the introduction of Saskatchewan’s Outstanding Young Farmers, saw Dan and Chelsea Erlandson of Spring Creek Garden Ltd. at Outlook, Sask., named to represent the province at the national event in Niagara Falls, Ont., Nov. 29 to Dec. 4.

Next year is the 40th anniversary of Farm Progress, which was first organized by farmers in 1977 to showcase technology.

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