16 Jun 2010

42nd Fieldays under way at Mystery Creek

6:58 pm on 16 June 2010

The southern hemisphere's largest agricultural showcase is under way at Mystery Creek, near Hamilton.

Expected to attract up to 130,000 visitors over the next four days, the 42nd National Agricultural Fieldays was opened by prime Minister John Key on Wednesday.

The National Fieldays Association says the event is the ultimate launching pad for cutting-edge agricultural technology, and an important place to keep up with the latest trends and developments in the industry.

Chief executive Barry Quayle says sites have sold out and there is more international interest than ever.

With New Zealand pastoral farming considered the best in the world, he says, the influence of Fieldays is enormous.

Mr Quayle says most rural-based businesses believe it's essential to be at the show, regardless of the economic situation.

Sales at last year's event were just under $300 million.

The head of the National Bank's rural division, Charlie Graham, says prospects are starting to look good, particularly in dairying, although he says the effects of three years of drought will be long lasting.