Record numbers expected at South Island Agricultural Field Days

Record numbers are expected at the South Island Agricultural Field Days this year after COVID-19 cancelled most other opportunities for farmers to get together. 

As many as 35,000 could go through the gates during the three-day event. 

For most, a demonstration of farm machinery where 11 hectares of crops are mowed, chopped and cultivated, is the main attraction at the day in Kirwee, west of Christchurch.

Demonstration coordinator Andrew Stewart says the machinery gets people excited. 

"It's always good when you have a lot of noise for machines, it gets people moving." 

Each day over 40 machines will be shown, and Stewart says the demonstration will include "mowers, rakes, tedders, balers and forage harvesters".

It's the largest demonstration of farm machinery in the country. 

Among more than 600 exhibitions there are sheep, wire-tying and lots of tractors.

But this year there were also a few firsts including Country Woman of the Year where competitors must complete a circuit of farm activities - regional leader for dairy women's network Jordain Adams says it's an "important" addition. 

"Rural women do so much for our industry so it's important to celebrate them and put on an event to let them shine all their special talents."

It's also the first time a woman's chaired the organising committee.

Planning's been underway since the last bi-annual field days.