Almost overnight, Grand Island has turned from ‘State Fair City' to ‘Harvest Central,' as the combines roll into town.
Husker Harvest Days is less than a week away, and although numbers for the Nebraska State Fair were up this year, that may not be the case for Husker Harvest Days.
Harvest season is hitting right during Husker Harvest Days. The drought has affected everyone this year, and an early harvest season may keep people in the fields and off the fairgrounds.
"When you talk about an 80 acre event with over 600 exhibitors, the numbers get pretty big, pretty fast," said Matt Jungmann, who is managing the event. From tents to T.P., Jungmann said it's truck loads.
"You got a semi load of bottle water, half truck load of toilet paper, 50 semi loads of wood chips, and 25 semi loads of tents," he said. In fact, the only thing that could be getting smaller this year, aren't the pivots, but rather the attendance.
"Between the drought and harvest in the Southern Cornbelt we want to be realistic," said Jungmann. Realistic isn't pretty if precedence is any indication. Iowa's show last weekend was rough said two workers; attendance in Wisconsin was cut in half from 60,000 to 35,000 this year.
"We are two to three weeks ahead of harvest in most areas, but I still believe the attendance will be there," said Rudie Nemec, setting up pivots.
"We just got done with Farm Progress and harvest was up and running, but we were thrilled with as many people took a day off," said Jungmann.
But, with corn crops nearing eight dollars a bushel, a day off for farmers may not come anytime soon. "Corn and soybean prices are really high this year, so to get a farmer to step away from his payday is pretty big favor to ask," said Jungmann.
For that reason, they aren't just inviting farmers, and they aren't just sticking to Nebraskans.
"We usually have representation from folks from 40 states, we've had conversations with folks from 10 different countries, the draw is more than Central Nebraska, the draw is global," he said.