Exhibitors confident Fieldays will thrive
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.’’
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.