The opportunity for farmers to see, touch and operate the latest in agricultural equipment returns this year as the countdown commences to the South Island Agricultural Field Days, held at Kirwee from March 29 to 31.
Field Days organisers report exhibitor interest has been stronger than ever, with all sites selling out, including the additional laneway sites the organisers elected to add on to this year’s event.
Committee chairman Hayden Dorman says despite the tough times machinery distributors have had in the past two years in sourcing equipment and parts due to shipping and covid delays, all brands have stepped up with their best and latest equipment for farmers this year.
“The field days provide an opportunity to really do your homework on what the best purchase decision may be, after some of the challenges in the past couple of years.”
A key appeal of the Field Days is the opportunity for farmers to scrutinise potential equipment purchases closely before committing.
With its easily accessible, flat site in central Canterbury, the Kirwee event has become popular with both farmers and contractors keen to get to grips with the latest gear.
Demonstration co-ordinator Andrew Stewart says all the respected brands of tractors, machines and cultivation equipment will be on display this year. He expects up to 50 different pieces of equipment will be on active demonstration throughout the Field Days’ duration.
“We have doubled the area put into maize this year for demonstrating drilling methods and harvesters in response to a lot of farmer interest in the crop as an option to importing more expensive supplements as costs have risen in the past year.”
With climate change, maize is becoming a more viable option in Canterbury with maize silage a high value feed crop commonly grown in the North Island holding strong appeal for southern farmers.
The planted crop on the Kirwee site showcases different outcomes using three different drill types, including a strip till drill and a later planted variety of maize.
Despite the challenges of the past two years in sourcing and servicing equipment, Stewart says machinery companies appreciate the South Island Field Days focused, farmer friendly approach enabling them to have in depth one on one contact with their ultimate clients.
But it will not only be machinery nuts who will get something out of the event.
Organisers have gone to efforts to keep the Field Days’ appeal broad across the rural community.
This includes also supporting a growing number of agritech exhibitors keen to showcase their latest developments, incorporating an Innovations Award with the winner announced during the event. A wide range of quality food and drink vendors will be on hand offering some of the best of local offerings to visitors.
With one eye on recent weather events in the North Island, organisers have also welcomed the offer by ACE Homes to put a movable home up for auction, with proceeds going to the Rural Support Trust.
“The heart of the South Island Field Days are the rural communities who our exhibitors rely so much upon. It is an event to celebrate not only the latest and greatest in equipment and machinery, but also the innovation and inspiration that our rural communities generate,” says Hayden Dorman.