Exhibitors reported a slow start to Henty’s biggest three-day event, many blaming the drought for an apparent downturn in visitors.
Riverina mixed farmer Katie Mitton said conditions were very dry across the region.
She said her canola, wheat, sheep and cattle farm was in decent shape, but not all were as lucky.
“We’re luckier than others, we cut our own hay so we had three sheds full – that was a real help but it’s getting thing now,” she said.
Miss Mitton said field days was a fantastic chance to see what was on offer at field days, and the mood was positive.
“It’s glorious, there’s so much here,” she said.
Elders’ Leigh Bowran has been going to Field Days for 20 years, this year was a bit quieter than recent years.
Mr Bowran said last year people seemed to have more confidence.
“There’s a few looking around,” he said.
“But the dry conditions are prevailing, it’s slower, numbers are down a bit.”
“There is always less of a budget in drier years.”
Mr Bowran said people appeared to be waiting to see what the drought would bring – before investing heavily.
A Brocklesy farmer, who wished not to be named because of recent thefts, said the worst was yet to come.
“All we want is for everyone to be saturated right now,” he said.
“It’s tough times in the drought, I think the real tough times are to come.
“Some folk are have decided to start mowing their canola now.
“It’s not high but if you don’t do something – then it’s nothing.”
Exhibitor Greg Gason of Ararat’s Gason machinery said while there was less people browsing, they were still relieving serious inquiries.
“It’s come and gone in waved,” he said.
“It started slow but that’s normally the case.
“It probably hasn’t been as busy as other years yet but it might be too early to tell.
“It’s been a bit quiet but that’s expected the way some parts of NSW are at the moment.”
Mr Gason said buyers and inquirers were still out there – even though the drought outlook has not been fantastic.
“We’re still having serious inquiries, quality inquiries,” he said.
“There is an air of optimism out there.”
Mr Gason said they believe visitation might increase over the next two days.