Farmers ready to spend as field days open
Buoyancy and confidence have brought more farmers to the Central Districts Field Days in Feilding.
It was a busy first day yesterday and event manager Cheryl Riddell said she thought about 10,000 farmers came to the first of the event's three days at Manfeild Park.
"I am reluctant to say how many people came through the gate, as we don't know at this stage, but there was a buoyant feeling."
Visitors looked around at what was on offer and the confidence of many farmers meant they were looking at bigger items and buying some smaller ones.
The highlights of day one were the exhibitors, the chainsaw sculptors and woodchopping competitions.
World champion axeman Jack Gordon, who is only 17, won the underhand woodchopping final in under 30 seconds.
He was up against his older brother Shane yesterday for the title of the best in the competition at fieldays and he beat him, turning first and cutting through his 350-millimetre round first.
"It's technique, rather than power," he said.
He said all people in competition made sure their axes were sharp before competing.
Taste of Central Districts was also a winner, with beer, wine, port and salami, as well as lemonade and limoncello tastings.
Rangitikei grape grower and Pheasant Creek vineyard owner Shane Parlato said it was hard to sell wine unless people tried it first.
But he said growing grapes on a stream in Rangitikei was not hard due to its micro-climate.
"The temperature is 10 degrees higher where the grapes are than here," he said.
Ruahine Ports, based in Dannevirke, was also giving people a taste of their plum and blackberry port.
Salesman Benjamin Vissers said all the fruit was sourced in Hawke's Bay and Otago.
A coffee cart worker said they had gone through more drinks than they usually did on the first day.
"We estimated we'd have 300 and we'd sold 200 by just after midday."