At the 2013 Quad Cities Farm Equipment Show, Jan. 20-22 at the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island, Ill., the parking lot was filled despite unwelcoming temperatures. Visitors came to see what was new and innovative for the upcoming spring planting.
More than 200 ag companies were at this year’s show. Exhibit space was sold out prior to the show and, this year, vendor space was limited for even returning companies – but this allowed show producers to fit 21 new companies into it last year and another 12 this year.
In the corner of the show were the new John Deere Gators, and Tom Heller of River Valley Turf in Silvis, Ill., said the new item for 2013 is the RSX850i Gator recreational utility vehicle. “This is the first time we’ve showed this,” he explained. “It sells for $14,600. It is more of a play than work, after-hours, hunting and fishing vehicle.”
With a top speed of 53 mph, the RSX850i can move! The vehicle is able to move from 0 to 35 in three seconds. One good aspect of this utility vehicle is it is built in the USA, in Horicon, Wis.
There are three versions of the RSX850i: a Sport model, Trail model and the Gator model. The words are a mouthful, but the Gator sports a 7.4-gallon fuel tank and an 839 cc, v-twin, four valves per cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-cycle closed-loop Electronic Fuel Injected (EFI) gas Italian motorcycle engine. Deere claims this is “the first motorcycle engine in a recreational vehicle.”
Another company that offered golf carts was Razor Carts, which sold these and accessories such as seat covers. The highlight, though, of the Razor booth were the Party Animal Dancers – little cat and dog mechanical toys that grooved with music acting as a speaker. The sales of the Dancers were going to a local animal shelter.
The Quad Cities Show included all types of equipment, from the usual corn and soybean planting and harvest, to livestock. Vermeer Manufacturing ’s latest round baler, the Model 605 SM or Super M, was on display and Bob Breeden said it can use either hay or cornstalks.
“This will wrap the bales, too,” Bob said. “It will do 50 bales an hour, and they weigh a ton apiece.”
Most tractors with either a stabber or a loader can handle the bales. Vermeer company history shares the story of how the company became involved with baler production.
Back in 1970, Gary Vermeer had a farmer friend tell him he was considering leaving his cow-calf operation behind because of the extensive labor needed to put up hay.
Vermeer found a way to solve this issue by launching the big round baler.
The show also had its antique equipment historical section, as well. The Antique Engine & Tractor Assoc. of Geneseo, Ill., was set up with information and the rare and beautiful 1953 Farmall Super FCD diesel, a French tractor owned by collector John Boyens.
Boyens’ little French Farmall looked quite small in comparison to the looming Case IH 7270 Axial flow combine that Case had on hand.
This year the group is planning its 52nd annual Antique Engine and Tractor Working Farm Show on Sept. 13-15, at its show grounds in Geneseo. For details about the show and club, log onto www.ae-ta.com – it is located at Exit 6 on Interstate 88, three miles east of Route 92.
This year’s show will feature International Harvester. This working farm show features corn and bean harvesting with mid-1900s equipment, as well as horse farming demonstrations.
Readers with questions or comments for Cindy Ladage may write to her in care of this publication.