Crops in the ground, but no Henty Machinery Field Days this year

Crops sown but no visitors at Henty this year


Season turns for the better to boost Henty Machinery Field Days crops.


HANDY falls of rain throughout southern NSW and the Riverina have come as bittersweet news for the organisers of crop trials at Henty Machinery Field Days (HMFD).

Around 40mm of rain has fallen in parts of the eastern Riverina and it has been welcomed.

However, the news this week that HMFD 2020 won't run in the usual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic came as a blow to the farming community.

Baker Seeds sales and business development manager, Aaron Giason of Rutherglen has been involved with the crop trials at Henty for five years.

He was disappointed the event, which draws crowds of 60,000 people, wasn't running in 2020 but commended organisers on their decision and the fact exhibitors were told well in advance.

Mr Giason said obviously a lot of events were affected due to coronavirus restrictions.

In terms of fitting in with a farming cycle and also preparing for what comes as inevitable news he explained that a cover crop was planted at the Henty site this year.

Usually the site is brimming with variety displays and it allows patrons to see what is on offer to suit this region and beyond.

"We made a decision (a couple of months ago) to plant a cover crop rather than the trials," Mr Giason said.

He explained that a cover crop this year was ideal to fit in with crop rotations, but it was also a bit of forward planning due to the uncertainty of coronavirus.

"The Henty site is a long term thing for us and we want to make sure the rotation is right going forward," he said.

The cover crop contains a mix of clover, radish, peas and lupins.

Mr Giason said the season was shaping up well throughout the Riverina and in parts of Victoria.

"The cover crop would have been something (good) to see in spring," he said.

In terms of whether or not small groups might get into the site to inspect crops it was difficult to say at this stage.

"It's just a matter of seeing if COVID-19 (pandemic) restrictions are lifted," he said.

"We might get to a point where small groups are able to gather," he said.

HMFD chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the event had an economic value more than $92 million and the 2020 decision wasn't taken lightly.

"The field days have been cancelled twice in their history due to economic recession in 1970 and 1971, and regrettably the HMFD board was forced to make the call this year," she said.


The story Crops in the ground, but no Henty Machinery Field Days this year first appeared on The Rural.


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