Wednesday, 11 February 2015 00:00

New field days site ideally placed to welcome new visitors

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Farmland marketer doing the rounds at last year’s event. Farmland marketer doing the rounds at last year’s event.

More exhibitors and visitors are expected at this year’s South Island Agricultural field days (SIAFD), March 25-27, on a new site in Kirwee.

 SIAFD bought the 40ha site after it outgrew its previous leased site near Lincoln University, after 32 years; the field days have been held near Christchurch every second year since 1951.

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, and exhibitors in the far corners were sometimes overlooked.

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,” Robinson says.

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

A half-circle centre-pivot irrigator will operate at the front of the site. It is now running to ensure a good crop of grass for harvest equipment demonstrations.

Think Water Leeston, a family-owned water services business, has made a commitment to supply, install and maintain the irrigator for 20 years and will be present at the event.

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

About 100 pieces of machinery, including tractors, headers, mowers and seed drills, are demonstrated.

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