Over the next four days, some 130,000 exhibitors, farmers and members of the general public will descend on the event which has been a mainstay in New Zealand agri-business for the past five decades.
There are the usuals you would expect at an event like this. Fonterra, Claas, Case, De Laval and John Deere are on the ground pressing the flesh and meeting customers old and new.
It would not be a large scale agricultural event without an Irish footprint. A few of the Irish companies and bodies exhibiting at Fieldays include Enterprise Ireland, Invest NI, Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme and Dairymaster’s New Zealand wing of operations.
Enterprise Ireland is working with some companies like FarmFlo to help develop a footprint at the event.
While it is very similar to our National Ploughing Championships with large amounts of trade stands, Fieldays is not of the same scale and size. It has been in operation at Mystery Creek (still waiting to see what the Mystery is) just outside of Hamilton on New Zealand’s north island for the past 48 years.
New Zealand agriculture
New Zealand is on the push internationally to sell its primary export wares. Dairy prices, like our own, are struggling but there is an increasing sense of optimism, while the beef trade is “on fire” according to local reports this morning. The government has developed a plan called Business Growth Agenda which has ambitions to double primary exports by 2025. New Zealand food exports are worth in the region of NZ$32bn (€19bn).
However, it is not all plain sailing for Kiwi farmers with ever increasingly stringent environmental regulations being implemented at farm level one of the many challenges for the entire sector.
The checklist of events to look out for at Fieldays include a competition to find New Zealand’s most eligible rural batchelor, a fencing competition and a New Zealand agri innovation centre.
Stay tuned to www.farmersjournal.ie for updates from the Fieldays over the next couple of days. We will be interviewing the president from the equivalent of the IFA, New Zealand’s agriculture and trade minister and talking to the Irish here.