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SIAFD 2015 – Numbers up, Feedback Positive

23/04/2015
The organisers of the 2015 South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) are pleased with how smoothly the March 25th-27th event ran at its new site near Kirwee and the large number of people who attended.

“We aimed to have more than 25,000 and our preliminary entry receipts show that we had 27,655, which does not include exhibitors or children,” says SIAFD organising committee chairman Alastair Robinson.

Alastair is pleased with how well the field days came together, given the organising committee only began serious work on the new site in November, and all its infrastructure had to be developed in a short period of time.

“We are very thankful to all of the people who worked on the site, to the Friends of the Field Days who provided the support and equipment we needed to run the event, and to all of the exhibitors.

“We sought input from exhibitors when we were laying out the site, and we welcome any feedback from them or the public on how we can improve the event in future,” he says.

The organising committee gave best site awards to the best large site and to the best small site. The criteria for top sites are that they draw a large number of people, they are active stands with demonstrations, and they are tidy and well-staffed.

The award for the best big site went to Lely Center Ashburton, which had a robotic milking machine doing live milking. The best big site runner-up was Isuzu Utes NZ, and third place went to Cochranes.

The best small site award went to Tyremax LP, with AdvanceQuip NZ runner-up and RD Petroleum third.

The machinery demonstrations are always a major drawcard at SIAFD, and they were once again very popular.

Earl Worsfold led the group that organised the demonstrations. Earl congratulates all of the exhibitors who put their reputations on the line and demonstrated their machines.

“Those exhibitors who showed their machines in action reported a lot of interest at their stands, so it is certainly worthwhile,” Earl says.

One of the big talking points during the demonstrations was a big self-propelled Ropa fodder beet harvester. However, the award for the best demonstrator went to Origin Agroup.

“Origin Agroup won because they demonstrated five different machines – a double mower, a tedder, a rake, a seed drill and a power harrow. They ran all machines on all three days and they had very good commentary.”

Earl thanks Seed Force for providing the seed that was used to plant the fodder beet and grass that were harvested during the demonstrations and he thanks Luisetti Seeds who provided the oats where the stubble cultivation demonstrations took place.

The Agri-Innovation awards are another highlight of SIAFD. These awards provide an opportunity for entrants to demonstrate their new inventions and technological innovations.

There are three categories in the Agri-Innovation awards. This year 14 year old Patrick Roskam won the top award for the best farm tool or farm aid invention for his Gudgeon Pro 5-in-1 gate hanger.

The best New Zealand-made invention went to Coolsense for is Vari-COOL fast cooling system for milk. Runner up was Robertson Manufacturing for its Little Ripper bale feeder.

The Agri-Innovation award for the best imported machine went to the Shelbourne Reynolds Powerspread muck spreader. Runner up was the Joskin slurry injector system, imported by Farmchief.

The SIAFD organisers say the event cannot happen without the help and support of a range of companies and individuals, many of them volunteers.

“Some of the Friends of the Field Days deserve special mention,” Alastair says. “They include Landpower/Claas Harvest centre who supplied power generators and side-by-side utility vehicles, Yamaha, Gallagher Fencing, the law firm Tavendale & Partner, Avon City Ford, Think Water Leeston, who provided a centre pivot irrigator for the demonstration paddock, and ITM, who provided a shed.

“We also thank the local clubs and volunteers who helped with parking and clean-up. The Kirwee Fire Brigade provided a water tanker and acted as first response on site throughout the field days. Volunteers from the Lion’s Club had a food stall that raised a lot of money for the community.”

Overall, Alastair and the organising committee are very pleased with the first field days at the new site.

“A lot of exhibitors have requested to book their same sites for next fields and several of them told us we could help Mystery Creek improve their field days,” Alastair says.

For further information contact us on 03 318 1845 or info [at] siafd.co.nz.

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