Ex­hibitors con­fi­dent Fiel­d­ays will thrive

South Waikato News - - FARMING -

As more than 1000 ex­hibitors set up their sites, those amonst the tent city at Fiel­d­ays at Mys­tery Creek many are count­ing on ‘‘re­silient’’ farm­ers to em­brace the an­nual event.

Fiel­d­ays chief ex­ec­u­tive Jon Calder said Fon­terra’s low dairy pay­out had not had an ef­fect on ex­hibitor num­bers, and he was hope­ful a strong vis­i­tor turnout would fol­low.

‘‘While large cap­i­tal items may not be on the shop­ping list, there’s a whole lot of in­for­ma­tion at Fiel­d­ays our dairy farm­ers will be look­ing for and prod­ucts which can help re­duce cost, which, with the [dairy] pay­out where it is, is crit­i­cally im­por­tant.’’

With a span­ner hang­ing out the back pocket of his blue jeans and name em­broi­dered on his shirt, ex­hibitor Kevin Smith is part of the Fiel­d­ays fur­ni­ture.

Smith said he had ex­hib­ited at about 25 Fiel­d­ays events – this year it’s Ram­pumps.

Although dairy farm­ers had taken sev­eral hits this year, Smith felt the at­mos­phere would still be pos­i­tive.

‘‘It’s noth­ing we haven’t seen

Niwa’s Fiel­d­ays fore­cast: Wed­nes­day: Cloud and limited sun with an odd show­er­pos­si­ble. High 17C. Thurs­day: Showers likely, mainly dur­ing the morn­ing. Some af­ter­noon sun. High 14-15C. Fri­day: Cloud and some sun with scat­tered showers likely. High 13-14C. Satur­day: Cloud and sun. Slight chance for an iso­lated shower. High 13-14C.

be­fore. Farm­ers in gen­eral are re­silient peo­ple. You’ve got to be, to be in the game.’’

Over at the 1900 square me­tre Ford site, one of the largest on show, prepa­ra­tions are be­ing made for a show­case of nine new ve­hi­cles. The off- road Ranger track will al­low vis­i­tors to ride as a pas­sen­ger over an un­du­lat­ing track, com­plete with a see-saw.

Mark Bus­bridge, from mower and slasher man­u­fac­turer Field­mas­ter, is ‘‘ qui­etly con­fi­dent’’ farm­ers will open their wal­lets at Fiel­d­ays. In­stead of fo­cus­ing on the dairy in­dus­try, Bus­bridge said his con­fi­dence lay with sheep and beef farm­ers, wine­mak­ers and ki­wifruit grow­ers to spend money.

‘‘Sheep and beef guys have had it hard for so long, they’re ac­tu­ally start­ing to make money now. The dairy in­dus­try goes in cy­cles, so we just have to weather the storm in the mean­time.’’

Ac­cord­ing to Niwa, the of­fi­cial fore­caster for Fiel­d­ays, vis­i­tors can ex­pect mostly fine weather with scat­tered showers. The best weather day is likely to be Satur­day, and the wettest Thurs­day with tem­per­a­tures be­tween 13 and 17 de­grees Cel­sius.

Niwa fore­caster Chris Bran­dolino will be broad­cast­ing daily weather fore­casts on the big screens at Fiel­d­ays. ‘‘ Wide­spread showers are likely on Wed­nes­day night as a cold front ap­proaches from the south west. Ex­pect showers for the start of Thurs­day with im­prove­ment likely by af­ter­noon,’’ Bran­dolino said.

‘‘ Cooler tem­per­a­tures along with a threat of showers are ex­pected to end the week with the best chance for dry weather on Satur­day.’’

Photo: CHRIS­TEL YARD­LEY/FAIR­FAX NZ

Mark Rickerby, left, NZ op­er­a­tions manager and Kevin Smith, owner of Kevin Smith Steel­work­ers with their wa­ter pump. Long-time ex­hibitor Smith said the cur­rent dairy sit­u­a­tion is noth­ing he hasn’t seen be­fore.

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