Wednesday, 31 January 2024 09:55

Editorial: Field days roll in

Written by  Staff Reporters
Southern Field Days, near Gore, is the first up. Southern Field Days, near Gore, is the first up.

OPINION: The regional field days that kick off in February are often used as a bellwether for sentiment in the industry – a more solid sounding of farmer sentiment than confidence surveys, because it can be measured in actual dollars spent.

The various field days – including Waimumu, Feilding and Dargaville – also provide a measure of the general sentiment in the industry, as discussions on exhibitors’ sites and in the bar reveal how people are feeling about the year ahead and what concerns they have.

According to the final Rabobank confidence survey of 2023, commodity prices were near the top of the list of concerns, although dairy price increases were leading a slow recovery on that front – and early 2024 dairy price rises will reinforce that.

A new government and the prospect of less obstructive policy settings also contributed to a slight uptick in that confidence survey.

So, the field days calendar will be interesting in 2024. Southern Field Days, near Gore, is the first up, and if the ad support for our Show Preview in this issue is any guide, the exhibitors are approaching the event with a positive mindset.

The tranquil town of Waimumu is reportedly buzzing with anticipation as the 2024 Southern Field Days (SFD) approach. Set against the picturesque backdrop of rural New Zealand, this one promises to be a celebration of farming ingenuity, community spirit, and the latest innovations in the agricultural sector.

Scheduled for February 14 to 16, the SFDs have become a cornerstone event for the industry.

Innovation and excellence top bills the trade exhibits at the 2024 East Coast Farming Expo – another event reporting strong support (on February 21-22 in Wairoa).

Whether the cheque books come out at these field days remains to be seen, but there are other reasons to attend, as summed up by an exhibitor: “The Expo brings out the amazing spirit that flows through our rural community. The social aspect is massive for family, friends, neighbours and work associates. Never underestimate a day off the farm at an event like this – it is educational, social and refreshing for our wellbeing.”

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