Expo was also the first site to showcase the extensive array of precision farming technology, such as tractors with automated steering and global positioning systems, and sprayers and bulk fertilizer spreaders equipped with variable rate application technology.

Irrigation technology is also prominent in the Expo exhibits and in the crop fields. A new method for scheduling corn irrigation was tested for the first time this year on the Expo farm.

Cotton irrigation scheduling, now widely used by farmers in the Southeast, was also developed based on several years of early testing at the Expo farm.

Major crops this year include cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans and bermudagrass hay. The Expo farm also features some of South Georgia’s largest plantings of alfalfa and perennial peanuts, both high quality forage legume crops. 

Crops grown for biofuel have been a major emphasis in the Expo fields this year.

You’ll find an extensive planting of switchgrass, which can be used as a feedstock for the making of ethanol. Another new fuel crop planted for the first time this year is miscanthus, a tall-growing perennial grass crop capable of producing 10 to 15 tons per acre.

“We’re seeing a huge amount of interest in fuel crops,” says Expo Director Chip Blalock, “and we’ll have a wealth of knowledge to share on this promising new farming venture.”

Tractor-drawn and shade-covered shuttle wagons will transport visitors to the fields to see the popular harvesting and tillage demonstrations. Assuming the weather is good, these demonstrations will last from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

On the way, visitors will be able to get off the wagons to get a close view of the equipment at work or to test drive new tractors with GPS and other precision farming technology.

Animal agriculture is also prominently featured. You’ll find special exhibit sections throughout the show dedicated to beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, sheep and goats, alpacas, poultry, aquaculture and fish farming.

At many of these exhibits, you’ll be able to see presentations and demonstrations given by the Southeast’s top university researchers and Extension specialists.

The Sunbelt Expo helps to sponsor the most prestigious farming awards program in the United States.

The Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award recognizes 10 outstanding farmers from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

One of these farmers will be announced as the overall Farmer of the Year winner at the Willie B. Withers luncheon Tuesday, Oct. 19.

The American Grand Finals stock dog trials will return for all three days to showcase some of the nation’s top border collie dogs as they move both cattle and sheep through a number of obstacles and pens in a large grassed field west of the exhibit grounds. This event always delivers in providing topnotch family-friendly entertainment.

Antique tractors will be on display in the western section of the exhibit grounds and will parade through the exhibits each afternoon of the show. Hunting and fishing exhibits and demonstrations will also return.

Other special exhibit sections emphasize pickups and automotive accessories, all terrain vehicles, lawn and garden equipment, electricity, propane gas, forestry and sawmills.

Family living exhibits will feature works of art and popular cooking demonstrations along with a wide variety of arts and crafts and information on health, safety, home furnishings and cookbooks.

For additional information visit www.sunbeltexpo.com.