PERFECTLY timed rain is tipped to bring about record crowds for this week’s 50th anniversary Henty Machinery Field Days.
The popular event starts today, with honorary patron and former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer to carry out the official opening at 11am.
At least 60,000 people were expected to come through the gates over the event’s three days.
Event chairman Ross Edwards said the rain had generated a lot of confidence.
Click below to see an interview with Ross Edwards ahead of the Field Days. (iPhone users go to Video tab in Menu.)
“There’s a saying in the bush that if it rains at Henty we’re in for a pretty good year,” he said.
Mr Edwards said there was a positive outlook around the site yesterday morning.
“We’re one of the luckier areas in the state,” he said.
“I believe we’re set up for a good season with the 11 or 12 millimetres we had Friday evening, plus this follow-up rain.
“The exhibitors are smiling because if farmers have rain they spend money.”
Mr Fischer congratulated field days co-founder Milton Taylor, Mr Edwards and the field days team for their years of creative and dedicated leadership.
“For over five decades Henty has imparted knowledge and modern technology to farmers, and this has helped boost both farm productivity and soil sustainability,” he said.
Mr Fischer predicted Henty would continue to deliver men and women in key leadership roles.
“With half the Australian agricultural workforce female, it will be women as well as men in the heavy lifting areas of agricultural leadership generally that will help Australia respond to climate chaos and the world famine ticking time bomb,” he said.
“This in turn will help build strategies for dealing with food security and driving sustainable farm profits.”
Mr Fischer said research into crop varieties would enable Australia to step up and ease global food shortages.
Mr Edwards said crops in all areas south from Condobolin were “pretty good”, as it was in the North East.
“We’re looking at a bumper year,” he said.
Mr Edwards said Henty’s advantage over other field days was that it was run by practising farmers “who give personalised service”.
“They know the industry, they know the exhibitors here from year-to-year and it’s just like an annual pilgrimage for a lot of people,” he said.
Mr Edwards said the diverse program had something for everyone “whether you’re five or 80”.