There's been plenty of rain this week (and more is forecast next week) at the home of the world's largest farm equipment show, buoying hopes that dry weather must be in store for World Ag Expo Feb. 9-10-11 in Tulare, California.

Economic recession will take a small bite out of overall exhibitor numbers at the 43rd annual show, although around 1,600 are still confirmed. Things will probably be more noticeably smaller in the dairy area, where exhibitor numbers are expected to be down about 15 percent from last year.

Major changes at this year's show include a return to 9 a.m. opening times each day; elimination of the Dairy Technology Center exhibit area, which is now the Seminar Center that will host all free seminars at the show; and the Hilvers Building is now the Hilvers Career & Education Center, featuring exhibits promoting colleges and universities, and offering resources to help agricultural job-seekers find employment.

The first stop for anyone planning to attend World Ag Expo is the website where maps, schedules and perhaps more information about literally every facet of the show than one can imagine can be found. All visitors are also strongly encouraged to register for admission and buy discount tickets in advance on the website.