Ag tech on display at 40th annual Midwest Farm Show - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Ag tech on display at 40th annual Midwest Farm Show

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

2018 marks 40 years of the Midwest Farm Show. Thousands came down to the La Crosse Center over the course of the day Wednesday. New products and technology were on showcase.

"If we're going to keep young people in agriculture, you've got to be maybe not right on the cutting edge of technology, but you better be really close," said Greg Selbrede of Selbrede Farms in Leon.

More than attracting the next generation to the industry, the show comes again in the midst of a now four year rough patch with commodity prices projected to continue a decline.

"It is a tough time right now," said Matt Rhodenhizer of St Joseph Equipment. "We're in a lull and we're just kind of working through it."

Farmers, particularly those from smaller and family owned operations have been feeling the effects.

"We have a double edged sword," said Selbrede. "We have oversupply and we've got nobody speculating that the market is going to get better."

Over the past three months, prices either remained stagnant or dipped slightly.

"Half a cent up, half a cent down, and then a downward trend because we have a large volume," Selbrede said.

Investors are shying away, which can impact prices and as a result... a farmer's bottom line.

"A lot of the USDA reports that come out are projecting oversupply to continue," Selbrede said. "So, it's not a smart investor that's going to go against the reports."

Even though it seems the rough patch may continue, some said they are up to the challenge.

"Farmers are some of the smartest people out there," said Rhodenhizer. "They are managers, they are laborers, they are bosses, they are husbands, they are dads... if anybody can figure it out, they can.

The subject of NAFTA came up as well. President Trump has threatened to leave the North American Free Trade Agreement if the US cannot reach what he characterized as a better deal with Canada and Mexico. Farmers at the trade show expressed concern with idea of leaving NAFTA entirely, but were hopeful that a new deal could potentially be more beneficial.

Trump had the Wisconsin farmer vote in last November's election.

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