There is a positive feeling among exhibitors and organisers that this year’s Henty Machinery Field Days will be well supported despite the grim weather outlook for much of NSW.
More than 800 exhibitors will showcase $120 million worth of machinery and technology across 1200 sites at Australia’s biggest mixed farming field days on September 18-20.
The field days traditionally play an important role on the annual social calendar for the rural community and the drought will make this year’s event a timely opportunity for farmers to take a break.
“I’d just urge everybody to come along, get away from the farm for a day or two,” field days chairman Ross Edwards said.
“I’m sure there’s something there of interest, no matter how young or old you are … I think a lot of fellows see the field days as somewhere to go to get off the farm and you quite often see they’re interested in a lot of the gear that’s there.”
He believed strong wool and sheep prices would help drive a successful three days as farmers look to upgrade infrastructure in areas such as the shearing shed and stock yards.
I think a lot of fellows see the field days as somewhere to go to get off the farmRoss Edwards, HMFD chair
“And whilst the cattle have come off the boil a little bit over the last two or three years the cattle prices have been quite good too,” he said.
Mr Edwards, who farms at Yerong Creek, said the south eastern Riverina was so far faring well through the drought but acknowledged Henty was on a knife-edge and conditions worsened the further west you looked.
Field days chief executive Belinda Anderson expected the community to attend the event in a show of support for the agricultural sector.
“From all reports, the crowds and exhibitors turned out to support the AgQuip field days at Gunnedah despite serious drought conditions in that part of the state,’’ Mrs Anderson said.
This year’s event will include a showcase of Korean farm equipment and a collection of John Deere tractors.
“It’s the 100-year anniversary of John Deere in Australia and there’s going to be an exhibit of those older tractors in one of the pavilions,” Mr Edwards said.
“And there’s a Waterloo Boy coming and that’s very rare.”