At this week’s Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, Neb., several large manufacturers were notably absent from the trade show maps. AGCO and Claas deferred their traditional corporate show presence to dealers Butler Machinery and Nebraska Harvest Center, while John Deere was absent altogether, apparently due to a lack of consensus among the area’s dealer groups, to which John Deere assigned the decision and responsibility.

After the cancellations of the field demos a few weeks ago at Farm Progress (adding insult to injury after manufacturers trucked in thousands of tons of hard-to-locate inventory that could not take the field), the value proposition of the national farm shows were again a popular topic as executives passed away the show “downtime” from wide-open exhibit lots.

As farm shows dwindle in influence for new product launches and new farm show attempts have come and gone (including but not limited to AEM’s failed attempt to introduce the European-style show model), is the farm show of 2022 an anomaly due to supply chains and low machine inventory (some manufacturers called in favors with customers just to have “some” equipment on display)? Or is it a permanent change in new product launches and machinery marketing in the virtual and internet age?