Exhibitors keen for May event

NUMBERS through the gate at this year’s Agfest were exciting and there were plenty of happy faces back at Quercus Park, but larger agricultural exhibitors are looking forward to a return to the regular May running dates with few machinery sales making the week an expensive exhibition.

With visitors tipping just over 50,000, many stallholders welcomed the increase on last year’s limited numbers.

Valley Irrigation used their site to promote new technology in their irrigation systems, rather than on sales.

And they spent their time raising money for Rural Alive & Well with soccer and AFL balls on offer for a gold-coin donation.

“For us this year, Agfest was about getting the Valley name out there and have some fun with it,” said Valley Sales Manager Ben Osborne.

But the timing of this year’s event so far from the usual end-of-financialyear ‘spending time’ for many farmers left the major purchases rather thin on the ground.

Delmade Director Rohan Cunningham said despite the increased number of patrons, their sales of larger machinery were scarce.

“We’d been prepared for this Agfest to be a quiet one, but it’s quieter than we had expected,” he said.

“We downscaled our site to a quarter of the size of what we usually run but we didn’t do a quarter of the business”

“At the end of the day it wasn’t great timing for our customers and we’re looking forward to Agfest being held in May next year.”

Much the same was said by Tony Williams of Tas Rural Supplies.

“If they’d ran Agfest like they did last year, with limited numbers but a priority to farmers, I think a lot of stallholders would have been happier,” Mr Williams said.

“No one is making good money off selling a few cheap power tools and it’s hurting the exhibitors bringing along big machinery.

“We should look after the farmers and the people who supply them, it is a farming field day after all.

“But it’s important to make it clear that we all love this show and we’re glad to have it running, as a business we’re just looking forward to it getting back to normal next year.”