Field days bigger than ever
Heading into their second event at their new home in Kirwee, the South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) is thriving and growing.
The South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) feature side-by-side demonstrations, with 80 - 100 tractors, headers, mowers, seed drills and other machines being put through their paces each day. The main aim is to give farmers and others in the rural sector the opportunity to see the latest in agricultural machinery and services that are available on the market, particularly home grown products.
The SIAFD has been running every second year since 1951 when it was held at Motukarara. Nowadays the event attracts between 20,000 and 25,000 visitors over the course of three days. The SIAFD is a non-profit Incorporated Society, run by volunteers, except the secretary, who are all farmers or work in the agricultural field; any money made is reinvested back into the local community through scholarships and grants.
Organisers say this year’s event from 29-31 March will be bigger than ever and it will underscore the fact that SIAFD is New Zealand’s premier demonstration event for agricultural machinery.
In 2015 SIAFD held its first field days at the site it purchased off Courtenay Road, Kirwee. The SIAFD board bought the site when it outgrew its leased site near Lincoln University, where it was based for more than 30 years.
“When we moved to Kirwee we purchased 40 ha, which allowed us to accommodate up to 450 exhibitors. Now we have purchased an additional 40 ha of land adjacent to our site,” Daniel Schat says.
“While we will not occupy the entire 80 ha at the 2017 Field Days, we will have more exhibitors and a bigger demonstration space than last time.
“The machinery demonstrations will feature beet harvesters and maize choppers as well as a full range of balers and cultivation equipment.”
South Island Field Days switches between Canterbury and Southland each year. During the off year Kirwee farmer Tony Redman leases the SIAFD site and in recent months Cressland Contracting Ltd has been doing site development work on the newly acquired portion of the site.
Daniel Schat says that SIAFD is a true community event. A group of dedicated volunteers organise and run the Field Days, and community groups provide many of the services –parking, catering and clean-up – that make them function smoothly.
“We also provide $5000 in scholarships that go to two Lincoln University students. We will announce the winners of the 2017 scholarship winners soon,” he says.
As well as the two scholarships, there are three awards presented at the show:
For further information contact us on 03 318 1845 or info [at] siafd.co.nz.
The Agri-Innovation Award for a New Zealand-made innovation or invention that provides benefit to the farmer and includes machinery, implements or attachments, or tools for use in agriculture or other forms of primary production. A cash prize of $2,500 will be awarded to the winner of the 2017 SIAFD Agri-Innovation Award and will be announced Wednesday 29 March 2017.
The Best Comparative Demonstration Award with a prize of $500 for the best-run demonstration and commentary. Demonstrations over the three days are a variety of tractors and implements ranging from ploughing, baling, seed drilling and everything in-between. The Phil Van Klundert Memorial Trophy for the Best Demonstration will be announced on Friday 31 March 2017.
The Best Site Award for the best large and best small site to be announced on Friday 31 March 2017.