It's time to scour your paddocks for flawless bales and exceptional swedes.
Tapanui's annual hay and balage competition and auction - organised jointly by West Otago A&P Society and West Otago Lions - is on again on Friday, August 2.
A & P Association president Hamish Ottrey said the event was the district's second largest fundraiser next to the annual A&P show and last year more than $14,000 went to local causes, thanks to the generosity of farmers and sponsors.
As well as being a significant fundraiser, the competition was also an opportunity for some good, old-fashioned country fun, he said.
''Alongside our regular hay, balage and silage competitions and auction, we've also got heaviest and ugliest swede and tallest chou sections this year, plus a kids' swede carving competition running. So get out there and get digging,'' he said.
In line with the spirit of the occasion, entry to the festival of forage was by specific donation, Mr Ottrey said.
''Entry fees are very modest,'' he said.
''It's either five small bales of hay, one large bale of hay or balage, a bag of pit silage plus $20, or $5 with your swedes and chous. Kids' entries are free.''
Entries had to be in by midday, with judging taking place at 1pm, and a fundraising auction and prizegiving, led by Rural Livestock auctioneer Tony Pryde, to follow at 3.30pm.
The event was a family occasion with a strong social element, and was held undercover at Cameron Road's West Otago Equestrian Centre (formerly the Barrow Box Sawmill) to allow for bad weather.
''We usually get around 80 to 100 at the barbecue and prizegiving, so we'll see how we go this year,'' Mr Ottrey said.
Beneficiaries for 2013 would be St John First Aid Courses, Dunrobin Cubs, Blue Mountain College Y7 and 8 girls' cricket team, and the West Otago Health Trust.
- Clutha Leader
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