Boom season sets the scene

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Dowerin Events Management chairman Michael Metcalf spreading his wings at the Agrifac site, where the world’s widest boomspray was on display.
Camera IconDowerin Events Management chairman Michael Metcalf spreading his wings at the Agrifac site, where the world’s widest boomspray was on display. Credit: Bob Garnant

Buoyed by the potential of an exceptional farming season, the Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days showcased a diverse range of technology and machinery designed to drive productivity to the next level.

Held last week, the two-day event attracted more than 25,500 visitors and hosted a record number of exhibitors, with 770 attending.

Officially opening this year’s event, Agriculture Minister Dean Nalder paid homage to WA’s $8.7 billion agriculture industry.

He said as the second-biggest industry in the State, it provided continuity in the employment sector.

“The Government will ensure value is created for WA productivity and efficiencies,” he said.

Dowerin Events Management chairman Michael Metcalf said the strong turnout this year was a reflection of the season, with the region recording above-average rainfall for the growing season.

“To top it off, we were blessed with sunny days,” he said.

With row upon row of the latest machinery and agricultural equipment, livestock displays and a new Equestrian Exhibit, as well as a range of lifestyle and education sites, exhibitors reported good sales and strong interest from potential buyers.

Young farming couple Geoff and Kerilee Fisher, of Gorge Rock, brought their children, Caden and Alina, to the field days to take it all in, but particularly to put in an order for silos as they contend with cropping more varieties.

“We had some frost yesterday, but the season is looking favourable for high yields,” Mr Fisher said.

The grains industry was on the minds of many exhibitors and farmers around the site.

GrainCorp merchant Karl Falls said farmers were concerned about the frost window and were looking for an upside to the current prices. However, he said they were content with potential yields from the exceptional season.

At the National Australia Bank site, WA State manager Andrew Clark said farmers were supporting their local communities with renewed confidence as a result of the season.

“With prices as they are, better yields will be an offset factor,” he said.

Meanwhile, AWB regional co-ordinator Jess Morris said multi-grade grain would most likely be priced at $250 a tonne when harvest begins.

At the GRDC site, Woodanilling farmer Dale Douglass said any frost after another fortnight when the crop heads would be out would affect his grain quality.

As far as farmers investing in their enterprises,Countryman inquired with Agrifac, which was displaying the world’s widest boomspray, the Condor Endurance, and one unit was reported to have sold to an Esperance farmer.

Dowerin Events Management event co-ordinator Jenna Santos said the increased number of exhibitors this year was a good sign.

“The new Equestrian Exhibit contributed to the rise in those numbers, attracting more than 34 exhibitors plus 12 demonstrators,” Mrs Santos said.

“We also had more machinery exhibitors than ever before and had a waiting list.”

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