Central District Field Days roar back after Covid-19 cancelled last year's event

Farmers pulled out their wallets at the first day of the Central District Field Days, after the event was cancelled last year because of Covid-19.
Event director Henry McLernon said the first day had proved to be really positive, with crowds lined up at entry gates first thing in the morning.

The field days are run by Stuff Events.

A greater focus had been placed on attracting exhibitors that would appeal to the whole family, while farmers checked out the latest heavy machinery and gadgets, McLernon said.


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The lifestyle pavilion is packed with cookware, water filtration systems, supplements, woollen garments, and even boarding school marketers.

Another feature of this years field days is more technology stands, with a focus on making life on the farm more efficient and safe.

BONNIE FLAWS/Stuff
The Central Districts Field Days is expecpted to attract about 27,000 visitors over two days.

Farming apps like Bring It All Together, and Levno, which offer farmers ways of recording and controlling farm processes were increasingly popular with the younger generation, sales staff said.

AgDrone offers farmers an alternative weed and pasture spraying service, while other products focussed on improving farm safety.

Fitlike Farmings agribumper, attaches totractors to improve safety in the event of a collision with a car, and made the tractor more visible with lights placed lower down and at the extremities of the tractor.

Owner John Pratt said the bumper could also be used as a ballast to allow the tractor to carry heavier loads.

Many exhibitors noted that farmers had come ready to buy, and had been particularly decisive about their purchases.

Costal Cowhides owner John Hudson said most of his sales went to couples, a sentiment echoed by outdoor furniture company Gilbrook Lifestyles.

Theyre not mucking around. There is a more dynamic mood and people are willing to spend, Hudson said.

BONNIE FLAWS/Stuff
The AgDrone offers farmers a hi-tech spray service using a drone.

Farmers were happy to be out and about, many with their wives and children, while younger farmers attending with their employers were happy to have the day off and get treated to a few free beers.

Dry stock farmers, Philip and Tony Johns from Taranaki said they were there for the social aspects as well as looking at the replacement costs of farm gear.

They preferred the Central Districts Field Days to the Mystery Creek event, and said it was a big deal for many farmers to come after last year's cancellation.

High dairy payouts and a season of good grass growth meant farmers were feeling confident and had money in their pockets, said Philip Johns, who was also a former dairy farmer.

There was both plenty for women to see and a lot of hi-tech gear on display, Tony Johns said.

Fencer Bruce Lyndsay said Covid had not affected the rural economy too badly, and he had come to look around for new gadgets.

Its great. People are enjoying being out and about, he said.

Supplied
Lifestyle exhibits feature strongly at this year's Central Districts Field Days.

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