Nearly 7000 people went through the gates on the first two days of the Australian National Field Days (ANFD).
Manager Jayne West said there were 4,000 visitors on site on Thursday, plus an estimated 1500 exhibitors, ranging from agricultural machinery companies to sole traders.
“It’s our best first day in four years and we’re gearing up for an even bigger Saturday,” Mrs West said.
Numbers through the gate were a little down on Friday – with roughly 3000 people in attendance – while the predicted rain may affect the crowd figure on Saturday.
“It’s pretty standard for a second day because it’s a weekday,” Mrs West said.
When working on the land, safety is one of the foremost priorities and the winner of the this year’s machine of the year – a remote-operated cattle crush – removes people from the “danger zone”.
The Catagara Group from Caloundra in Queensland is distributing the American-designed Silencer Hydraulic Cattle Crush and Flight Zone Avoidance System.
“Labour shortages, inexperienced labour, staff safety and animal welfare are all challenges faced by the beef industry,” Catagra Group manager Sean Hammond said.
“This system addresses all those issues, it’s a game changer,” he said.
ANFD chairman Dan Toohey said there were 12 machines vying for award this year, which was double the number of entries received in 2015.
“Many of the ideas, concepts and dreams seen in this competition have gone on to improve the lot of farmers throughout Australia and the world,” Mr Toohey said.
Mr Toohey said the non-competitive awards were judged against a number of criteria, which included innovation, application to agriculture, standard of construction, value for money, and ease of use.
- Air-operated end-assembly driver, developed by the Quattromani family from Horsley Wholesale.
- A solar-powered, set-and-forget, small-scale travelling irrigator made by greenPRO.
- The Quik Corp Solid Eco-Foam wetting agent dispenser, which can turn any farm spray unit into a firefighting unit.
- a modified Woods slasher, developed by machinery suppliers TISCA.
- Remote-controlled livestock handling equipment by National Stockyard Systems.