High commodity prices have Dakotafest exhibitors hoping for good showExhibitors were busy cleaning farm equipment and erecting tents Monday at the Dakotafest grounds southeast of Mitchell in preparation for the opening of the farm-andranch trade show at 9 a.m. today.
By: Chris Huber, The Daily Republic
Exhibitors were busy cleaning farm equipment and erecting tents Monday at the Dakotafest grounds southeast of Mitchell in preparation for the opening of the farm-andranch trade show at 9 a.m. today.
A wave of optimism flowed through the grounds as exhibitors hoped high commodity prices — the local corn price in Mitchell was $7.31 per bushel Monday — will translate to more money for farmers and more sales for those who produce farm equipment.
Terry Berndt, of Avon, sells Zetor tractors and could be seen washing windows with the rest of his family Monday morning.
“I think it’s going to be a really good year; farmers are going to have more money in their pockets and are going to be more likely to buy something new,” Berndt said.
Berndt said he saw a large increase in sales last year when commodity prices were up. This is Berndt’s third year at Dakotafest, and he thinks it will be his best yet.
Neal Johnson, of Johnson and Sons Construction in Mitchell, is selling canvas-topped barns called Winkler Structures, and he hopes crop prices will translate to more business.
“The farm economy is great right now,” Johnson said. “Generally, that will mean a good year for us as well.”
Ed Miller came from Topeka, Ind., for this year’s show with Honeyville Metal Inc.
Honeyville Metal Inc. sells grain distribution equipment, and the chance to come to a farm show in grain country was too good to pass up for Miller.
“We go to about 20 farm shows a year,” Miller said, “Any time we can get into the heart of grain country when the farming is good, we will do well.”
Jeff Spieler is a territory manager for Asgrow and Dekalb, and he is less optimistic than some of the other exhibitors.
Because Spieler sells seed, most of which is purchased earlier in the year, he will be exhibiting new products and not selling to farmers at Dakotafest.
He warned that farmers aren’t just going to spend money because they have more money.
“I think people around have a good understanding of product awareness,” said Spieler. “They aren’t going to buy something if they don’t need it.”
Kurt Moder, a territory manager for John Deere, agreed, noting that even though commodity prices are high now, they can change quickly.
“It looks good now, but things can change very fast,” Moder said. “Let’s not count the money before we have the crops in the bin.”
Dakotafest starts today and runs through Thursday with gates opening at 9 a.m. each day. The show closes at 5 p.m. today and Wednesday and 4 p.m. Thursday.
Admission is $8, but children 18 years and younger are admitted for free.
This is Dakotafest’s 16th year, and there are about 685 exhibitors this year.