Field days back at showgrounds

The Otago Field Days are moving back to their original site at the Palmerston Showgrounds.

The organising committee made the decision last week to relocate from the saleyards on State Highway 85, due to the difficulties of working according to Covid-19 Level 2 rules.

Among the showgrounds’ advantages are the terracing, ample parking, shelter from southerly winds, good access for heavy vehicles and machinery and a hall with kitchen and toilet facilities.

The 2020 field days are on Wednesday, October 7, and Thursday, October 8.

The committee was keen to go ahead with the event after a lot of new exhibitors said they wanted to take part because so many other activities had been cancelled.

All the exhibits will be on the upper level of the terraces, so the arena floor can be used for parking.

Plans for Level 2 regulations included free entry for visitors to prevent queuing, strategic communications officer Maria Barta said. That would still take effect.

Field days chief executive Paul Mutch said the fifth field days were transformed from their predecessors "from purely industrial displays to include technologies and education in response to the demands of legislation and a more advanced and regenerative culture".

"To do this we have introduced a speaker series whereby industry leaders and scientists will discuss the issues and legislation with land and water use," Mr Mutch said.

"There will be opportunities to learn how to measure to manage our landscapes, including soil science.

"Another focus builds on food waste and the processes that could be implemented to reduce this, thus enhancing productivity and giving a higher value," Mr Mutch said.

Practical examples included auto-steer tractors that optimised seed and fertiliser use, safer livestock-handling facilities, fencing plans and specialised fertilisers.

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