Regional field days organisers are already locking in dates for their annual showcases. But a logistical storm is brewing for event contractors and exhibitors.
The show trades on demonstrating farm machinery, and this year it will have a bigger lifestyle section and a tractor pull contest.
The two-yearly show, started 65 years ago, usually attracts about 30,000 visitors. It will take place on March 27-29 at Kirwee.
Committee chairman Rodney Hadfield reports strong interest and a site sell-out.
“We’ve worked hard since last time, gravelling all the laneways and improving infrastructure, but the format will be the same as always.”
Visitors enjoy networking, meeting customers and seeing new machinery, Hadfield says.
By presenting working machines, SIAFD reinforces the relationship between farmers, manufacturers, retailers and technical experts, he says.
“The field days get the people who want to buy to come along and look. It is an event for people ready to make financial decisions and spend their money. We want them to come to our event and get their field days deals.”
Power Farming Canterbury dealer principal Geoff McCabe says the company has doubled the size of its site at this year’s SIAFD.
“The field days are very important to us; they’re a great place to show off machinery and showcase new gear that people haven’t seen before.
“People come from far and wide to the field days to look at machinery... and get the chance to compare all the brands.”
Trevor Goodeve, Taege Engineering Ltd, says SIAFD provides an invaluable opportunity.
“Because it is in our own area we can get feedback from our customers on the machinery we design, build and develop. So we’re able to work directly with farmers and contractors to improve our business.”
The late-March timing helps Taege Engineering to show its present products and set up its winter machinery making programme.
A lifestyle section trialled at the 2017 show convinced the organisers to enlarge it this year, said spokeswoman Michaela McLeod.
“There will be at least 100 lifestyle stalls with a wide variety of products – garden sculptures, outdoor furniture, jewellery, clothing, art, plants and food products. Noteworthy stalls include Vege Pods, Container Pools Canterbury and Mt Hutt Pods.
“Local producers including Kirwee Bees will also be there, and next door a food court will feature Funky Monkey Bars showing their jungle gyms and play equipment.”
Tickets to SIAFD cost $20 per day (children free) at the gate.
Rev it up Trev
The show's first tractor pull since it moved to its new Kirwee site will have Diesel Tune NZ as sponsor.
Tractorpull NZ general manager Vaughan Coy says the first two days of the field days will be practice days and day three will be the competition day.
“We will have three classes of competitors – standard, modified and pre-1985. Several people plan to bring their modified tractors from different parts of the South Island, so it should be an exciting event.”
Coy says tractors in each of the three competition categories pulls a sled that weighs a percentage of its weight, which means tractors of different horsepower ratings can compete against each other. A 15 tonne weight limit applies to all entries.
Entry forms are on the Tractorpull NZ website (www.tractorpull.co.nz).