Farmers to focus on drought during World Ag Expo

TULARE, Calif.

It's all taking place at the international Agri-Center on Laspina Street near Paige. The big tractors are set up and ready for thousands of people to enter the gates Tuesday. This year people will be able to see tractors in action.

Hundreds of people spent Monday polishing, raking and laying down sod in preparation for the 47th annual World Ag Expo in Tulare.

"We need the rain but we'll take the sunshine too. We hope the people will come and enjoy the World Ag Expo no matter what," World Ag Expo spokesperson Liza Teixera said.

The sun is expected to shine all three days of the farm show with temperatures reaching the 70's on some days. This year people can watch some of the biggest machines in action at the new World Ag Expo Arena.

"World Ag Expo's new arena will have four daily exhibitor showcases and exhibitors will drive their equipment around and attendees will get to sit up in the bleachers and just enjoy a great show," Teixera said.

Exhibitors say they are excited for the show which not only gives great exposure to their business, but also introduces them to new customers. Like exhibitor Dave Staheli who set up an exhibit to show off a machine that injects steam into hay bales.

"Every year we end up getting a great deal of business out of this show. We've been on the market for about four years and coming down to the show we always get a lot of leads we actually sell machines at the show sometimes," said Dave Staheli with Staheli West INC.

One of the World Ag Expo's top 10 new products this year boasts new technology to help save farmer's water. The product could gain some attention from California growers who are experiencing dire drought conditions.

The Fieldnet system lets growers check soil moisture and operate irrigation systems from their phones or tablets to get the most use possible out of the water they do have.

"Fieldnet interfaces with sensors like soil moisture sensors so it tells you if you're pushing water past the red zone again which wastes the water and power," Dirk Lenie with the Lindsay Corporation said. "It shows its running, how much time is left, the pressures and flows here. I can actually stop or pause my irrigation cycle."

Opening ceremony for the farm show starts at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Roughly 100,000 people are expected to attend this year's show.

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