Henty Machinery Field days reflect confidence in agriculture sector

BOOM TIMES: The Sandral family from Oaklands - Jennifer 11, Nicholas 9, Matthew 6, Charlie 12 and Anthony - at the Henty Field Days. Picture: MARK JESSER

BOOM TIMES: The Sandral family from Oaklands - Jennifer 11, Nicholas 9, Matthew 6, Charlie 12 and Anthony - at the Henty Field Days. Picture: MARK JESSER

The crowd was 5000 down on last year’s record but visitors to the Henty Machinery Field Days rated it among the best.

Organisers said 55,000 visited the event across the three days, with rain keeping numbers down on the middle day.

“Even though it’s wet people are positive, it’s easier to grow a crop when it’s wet rather than in drought,” field days chief executive Belinda Anderson said.

She said a highlight was the strongly contested machine of the year and agri-innovators competitions.

Both competitions were won by Riverina farmers.

Urana’s Charlie Webb’s innovative sheep handler – Back Up Charlie – which helped stock flow through sheep yards was named machine of the year while Girral mixed farmer Pat Daniher was awarded the inaugural agri-innovator prize for his hay and silage feeder.

The agri-inventor competition was instigated after the demise of the farm inventor of the year.

“The machine of the year was good, we had about 24 entries, and the return of the inventors was very well received,” Mrs Anderson said.

“That’ll only grow from here, which is great, and we saw regional winners.”

“People like to see new ideas and the backyard inventors who work on these things all their life are very clever.”

Exhibitors recorded strong interest across the three days, with favourable on-farm conditions across most of south eastern Australia translating to high inquiries and sales.

“A lot of exhibitors reported their best field days. One on the Tuesday said he had his best day ever, and another I was speaking with had a fantastic Thursday.” Mrs Anderson said.

“I think they’re all reasonably happy.”

Chairman Ross Edwards echoed her thoughts, saying cattle prices at record levels and buoyant lamb and mutton prices reflected confidence in the future of the livestock industries..

Baker Seed Co, Rutherglen, business manager Aaron Gaison said hundreds of growers visited their agronomy plots, featuring about two dozen wheat varieties.

“We’ve had an amazing amount of people come through,” he said.

Mr Gaison said most interest was in new varieties which could replace Wedgetail and Gregory seeds.

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