The Henty Machinery Field Days are aiming to respond to devastating back-to-back cancellations due to COVID-19 by staging two three-day events in the one year.
The 2021 event next month has had to be scrapped again due to the combined factors of coronavirus Delta variant spreading into regional areas, the border bubble tightening and exhibitors coming from states bouncing in and out of lockdowns.
But in confirming this year's event was off, the HMFD board announced a three-day replacement event would be held in mid-March next year in addition to the traditional September timeslot.
A window of opportunity exists in March either side of Wimmera field days near Horsham early in the month another in South Australia later in the month.
"Last year was a kick in the guts because it was unknown," HMFD chairman Nigel Scheetz said.
"We were all flying a bit blind in a sense.
"But this was meant to be a catch-up year, our communities are suffering, people need to get out and have a yarn.
"But this area is clean at the moment and we need to keep it that way."
Mr Scheetz said the board had been pondering the option of holding the field days in March for several weeks in the knowledge the current crisis in the state would be under control and the nation with high levels of vaccination.
"There is a little window there," he said.
"It's been in our minds for a while as a back-up, but we had been keeping it quiet."
This year's event shaped as a blockbuster with the agriculture sector riding high on bumper commodity prices and another hugely profitable harvest awaiting.
"Every commodity we produce is phenomenal presently, interest rates are at an all time low as everyone knows and positivity everywhere you look," Mr Scheetz said.
"But we've missed the boat again."
The events attracts more than 60,000 visitors each year and has an estimated economic value of $92 million to the region.
The field days are a major fundraising opportunity for sporting and community groups.
"We do make a fair whack of money that particular week," Henty Football-Netball Club president Nathan Scholz said.
"But the impact is more on our community, the shops, people in town, because it is their one big week of the year."
David Venning, who has been bringing machinery to Henty from South Australia for three decades, said the decision was regrettable, but understandable in the present environment.
"Vennings will be continuing to support the HMFD and the area," he said.
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