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Fieldays 2010 Premier Feature 'Innovation for Future Profit'

Part 1 An Overview

Communications team at Fieldays - 25/06/2010

The theme of 'Innovation for Future Profit' emphasises the role of farmers as business people and innovators, an appropriate thrust for Australasia's largest agribusiness exhibition. Many of the innovations are directed towards caring for and even improving the environment.

According to Statistics New Zealand approximately 14% of New Zealand's population live in rural areas. Those who grow up in rural areas have an understanding of the life and work of farmers and their families. Some city children are lucky enough to spend holidays on farms of relatives and friends. Many need a visit to a farming festival to develop an awareness of what happens outside our cities. New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays were held 16 to 19 June, 2010 at Mystery Creek Events Centre, ten minutes south of Hamilton. These occasions not only offer an opportunity for agribusiness people to gather together and update their knowledge of developments in farming procedures and products, but they also offer an important opportunity for rural and urban people to meet.

Fieldays was proudly supported by strategic partners; The National Bank and the University of Waikato.

National Fieldays kicks off
Ariana Tucker

Mystery Creek Events Centre threw its gates open on June 16 2010 for the 42nd New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays. Opening day saw 26,118 visitors storm the exhibition area in search of the notorious Fieldays only deals. As predicted, Waikato churned out the sunshine. Organisers were pleased with the increase on last year's opening day attendance of 23,975, and welcomed the break in recent wet weather. The fine conditions provided a relaxed environment for farmers to browse and coupled with significant attention on quality agribusiness, it probably helped towards the 9% increase on 2009.

Prime Minister John Key officially opened New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays, unveiling the 'Innovation Tree' sculpture. Created by Marti Wong, the sculpture was commissioned to demonstrate the 2010 Premier Feature theme, 'Innovation for future profit'.

The 2011 Premier Feature encourages global networking to tackle not only complications faced by New Zealand farmers, but also productivity challenges abroad. The Premier Feature unveiling was attended by Mexico's Minister of Agriculture, Francisco Mayorga Castenada. One of several international dignitaries to Fieldays, Francisco Mayorga Castenada, was accompanied by a 20 strong delegation from Mexico, here to explore New Zealand's renowned pastoral farming practice.

Horticultural Hall in second year of success
Rebecca Aston

For those interested in improving the cultivation of their plants and crops, Horticulture Hall was the place to be with 13 exhibitors advertising horticulture products ranging from irrigation systems to natural insect repellents. The site spaces in Horticulture Hall were larger than last year's, showing that the New Zealand horticulture industry continues to thrive, despite challenging economic conditions.

One of the first sites in Horticulture Hall was the Green Smart exhibit. The Green Smart team are selling self watering planting pots, which are organic, easy to use and require no weeding. Green Smart Director, Trish Barnett says, "The Green Smart Pot is perfect for growing vegetables and herbs in any space and is hassle free." The Green Smart Pot was developed out of a growing need to combat the rising cost of living, ever tightening water restrictions and availability of healthy, fresh food.

Also in Horticulture Hall NovoZone, specialists in ozone for air and water purification, were promoting their new Aqua 10N Irrigation System. NovoZone Managing Director Hans Holtz said "The irrigation system fits well with the NZ National Fieldays theme, Innovation for Future Profit as it is all about creating profitability for the future by ensuring the prevention of root diseases in crops."

Amazing exhibits
Ariana Tucker

The exhibitors at this year's agribusiness event took more space at the venue as they understood the benefit of being part of the largest agricultural exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere. To get the most out of exhibiting, companies enhanced their sites in ways they felt would attract the public.

An exhibit with a point of difference was the AgResearch site, exhibiting in the Premier Feature area of the Mystery Creek Pavilion. AgResearch has undertaken a vast amount of investigations in the agricultural industry and have had a recent GE breakthrough. The advancement could lead to lowering methane emissions while at the same time giving the stock higher intakes of protein. The emissions released by cows are illustrated on their site, with 25kgs of cow dung; the amount one cow produces daily. Visitors were recommended to take time at the AgResearch site to check out the other facts on cow emissions and productive farming solutions.

Another company attracting buyers in a unique way was Alltech. The global animal and nutrition company invited visitors to 'dig for gold' in a pit of Yea-Sacc feed. According to the business, the Yea-Sacc feed is the gold. The product is a completely natural yeast based animal feed used for efficiency in farming. The company also specialise in other yeast products all of which result from extensive yeast fermentation technology. So visitors were invited to go inside the Mystery Creek Pavilion to dig for some gold for their chance to win some awesome prizes at the Alltech PD33-34.

While at Fieldays a must visit was to the Walker Mowers site. Their unique mowers are extremely manoeuvrable with an O turn, allowing the machine to pirouette on the spot. The mowers are also excellent at climbing steep surfaces and hills. The most impressive feature is the deck on the front of the machine, usually located under the driver's seat. The Walker Mower range is particularly easy to use and to prove this, they had women demonstrating the machine. Visitors checked out the extensive range of multi deck mowers which can catch, mulch and side throw grass at the Walker Mowers site.

Premier Feature announced for 2011 Fieldays on 18 June
Samantha Linn

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. David Carter, announced the 2011 Premier Feature for New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays; Breaking Barriers to Productivity.

The purpose of a Fieldays Premier Feature is to set a theme for the event and highlight a pertinent topic for farmers and the agricultural industry. The motivation behind the 2011 Premier Feature, Breaking Barriers to Productivity, is to provide solutions to obstacles that stifle productivity in the farming sector.

Breaking Barriers to Productivity focuses on overcoming key concerns farmers face on the path to achieving maximum output by offering products and services to combat a variety of these barriers. Ag Fieldays Chairman, Warwick Roberts is confident exhibitors will embrace the 2011 concept.

"National Fieldays is the agricultural industry's shop window; Breaking Barriers to Productivity forms a solid foundation for exhibitors to build an impressive showcase of solutions at next year's event."

Some significant sites at Fieldays

One day at the New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays was not enough time to see the assortment of exhibits on offer at the event. The exhibition covered the entire Mystery Creek area and car parks stretched up to Airport Rd.

The iconic farming machinery company, John Deere, had a large site at Fieldays displaying the massive green and yellow contraptions. The sheer size of the tractors gave an understanding of their success of the international business. John Deere had a vast range of equipment available onsite, from tractors to golf carts and even toy tractors and clothing.

The family owned company Power Farming imports a considerable variety of agriculture equipment. They stock everything from American diggers to Italian tractors and everything in between. The Merit award winner in the Large Outdoor Agricultural site section, Power Farming; specifically seek out the best in machinery from all over the globe to ensure quality products. A recent addition to the already extensive range at Power Farming are the McHale bailers from Ireland. The man behind the brand, Martin McHale even made the long trip to New Zealand to attend Fieldays and was on the Power Farming site to talk to customers and answer any questions.

Hard Yards was one of the many exhibits at Fieldays which was aesthetically pleasing, attracting a lot of attention, and even won the Best Rural Living site at the Best Site Awards. Hard Yards specialise in concrete to complement the rural lifestyle. Anything made from concrete could be found at the stand including; concrete floors, retaining wall systems, outdoor ovens and water features.

Exhibits continued to thrive on the last day of 2010 National Fieldays

New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays closed on a remarkable note on June 19 with 122,349 visitors through the gate over the iconic four day event. Saturday, the final day, saw 28,139 occupy the exhibition area, 11% up on the prior year. The 2009 event was attended by 117,000, 4.6% less than this year's event.

Organisers are keen to see the results of the post Fieldays exhibitor survey, which will reveal actual sales generated at the event. Overall exhibitors were thrilled with the calibre of visitors to their stands; reporting significant trade on previous years. In addition to increased sales, several critical business deals were forged, contributing to a prosperous year at Fieldays.

One of many exhibitors pleased with results from National Fieldays was Scott Bright, Managing Director of Interbloc. In 2003 Bright developed an interlocking concrete block system mainly for the construction and roading industry. Bright says Interbloc's primary marketing push is exhibiting at Fieldays, where they can connect to their favourite customers; "We really enjoy working with farmers; they're our best clients to deal with, which is why it's critical for us to be at National Fieldays. We've had the best Fieldays, with more than double the sales of last year. The quality of the people is excellent; people come in and know what they want".

Gallagher Group National Sales Manager, Peter Nation, was pleased with trade at Fieldays, commenting "It's been a great year for Gallagher; sales to Thursday night were equivalent to total sales over the four days last year. There has been huge interest in our newly released products". This month Gallagher launched the Sheep Auto Drafter and Innovation Centre award winning, SmartFence.

Start making plans now to visit the next National Fieldays - 15 to 18 June, 2011. Remember the 2011 Premier Feature, Breaking Barriers to Productivity