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South Island Field Days readies for more exhibitors, visitors than ever

30/01/2015
Set up for the South Island Agricultural Field Days in March is well underway, with an increase in both exhibitor and visitors numbers expected at the event’s new site in Kirwee.

The Field Days in 2015 will take place from March 25-27 on Courtenay Road, Kirwee, on 40 hectares of land purchased by South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD), after it outgrew its previous leased site near Lincoln University, where it has been based for the past 32 years.

Field Days have been held near Christchurch every second year since 1951.

Organising committee chairman Alastair Robinson says while there is still a lot to do, the event has a good committee, and they are confident everything will get done on time.

The new rectangle block at Kirwee is a better shape than the former site in Lincoln and should be easier for exhibitors to work with. Entry into the event will also be easier and more logical.

The previous site was a triangle, which meant exhibitors in the far corners were sometimes overlooked by visitors.

SIAFD usually attracts about 25,000 visitors over the three days, although the committee is hoping the larger site and new location will result in even more coming through.

“We have registered 450 exhibitors, which is over 150 more than our previous event. We’re hopeful that we’ll have more people through the gate than previously but time will tell,” Alastair says.

“There’s been heaps of positive feedback from exhibitors and they’re all looking forward to the new site. They’re happy with the layout we’ve chosen.”

A feature of this year’s Field Days is a half-circle centre-pivot irrigator, which will operate at the front of the site. The irrigator is up and running to ensure a good crop of grass for harvest equipment demonstrations.

Think Water Leeston has made a commitment to supply, install and maintain the irrigator for a period of 20 years and will have a strong presence at the Field Days.

Think Water Leeston is a family-owned water services business that has been providing pumping and irrigation equipment and solutions to the Canterbury region for more than 25 years.

SIAFD organising committee member Daniel Schat says crops for demonstrations have been drilled and sites allocated.

“We have more room and the shape is a lot more conducive to filling up the space. The half-circle centre-pivot irrigator is located at the front, close to the big demonstrating exhibitors,” he says.

The increase in exhibitor numbers this year shows the community is continuing to support the Field Days and wants to be a part of it.

“It’s only a $15 entry fee so it’s very minimal,” Daniel says.

“South Island Field Days are all about checking out that bit of equipment that you’re interested in buying and seeing it working.”

About 100 pieces of machinery, including tractors, headers, mowers and seed drills, are put through their paces throughout the event.

Daniel says the Field Days couldn’t be possible without the huge number of volunteers who help with setting up, running the event on the day, and clean up afterwards.

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

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