The National Ploughing Association (NPA) has cancelled the 2021 ploughing trade exhibition. However, the national ploughing competitions are expected to go ahead later this year.

Anna Marie McHugh, assistant managing director of the NPA, told the Irish Farmers Journal that the NPA is “massively disappointed” that this year’s trade exhibition had to be cancelled.

As the timeline to start site works is imminent, the NPA said it “just could not wait any longer to make a decision”.

Ireland was due to host the world ploughing contest this year to mark 90 years of the NPA. However, COVID-19 has resulted in its cancellation too.

Worst-case scenario, we go to the end of the list and we’ll host it in 2038

McHugh said the NPA made the decision to cancel the world contest.

“Worst-case scenario, we go to the end of the list and we’ll host it in 2038,” she said. However, a motion put forward by the world ploughing executive, if passed, could see Ireland bumped up the list and host it in 2023.

Meanwhile, the Virginia Show committee said it is not feasible to continue to plan an event for 2021.

“Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic it is not possible to successfully run the show safely and to the high standards that everyone is accustomed to,” it said.