Field Days returning to Tocal after a year off

Field Days returning to Tocal after a year off

Smart Farmer How To
FUN FOR ALL AGES: Lincoln Gray, Broadmeadow, enjoyed a close up look at some donkeys at the 2019 Tocal Field Days.

FUN FOR ALL AGES: Lincoln Gray, Broadmeadow, enjoyed a close up look at some donkeys at the 2019 Tocal Field Days.

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Tocal Field Days has grown over the years to become the premiere agricultural event in the Hunter Valley. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID restrictions, making it all the more exciting for Tocal Field Days to be back.

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Tocal Field Days has grown over the years to become the premiere agricultural event in the Hunter Valley and one of the most important field days in Australia.

The event was unfortunately cancelled in 2020 due to COVID restrictions.

This makes it all the more exciting for Tocal Field Days to be back on April 30 to May 2.

Strong support after a year's hiatus has resulted in around 300 exhibitors already booked in for the three-day event.

The special feature of Tocal Field Day this year is 'Future Farming' focusing on drones and robotics.

This feature is supported by commercial exhibitors who will have the latest technology available for landholders to see firsthand.

There will also be talks on new dairy technology 'More Milk, Less Work' which will focus on the opportunities for automation to improve milking efficiency for farmers.

These special features have been well received by local schools resulting in additional bookings to attend the field days.

Being a large event with up to 25 000 visitors, the Tocal Field Days team has implemented strategies which will allow the event to go ahead and ensure the highest levels of COVID-19 safety.

Visitors are encouraged to purchase their ticket online to alleviate queuing and crowding at the gate.

All visitors will need to scan in with the Service NSW COVID Safe QR code.

There will be alternate arrangements available for those without smart phones.

Event coordinator Wendy Franklin said that while there were challenges, running a COVID safe event was certainly manageable with prior planning.

"We have all the necessary procedures in place plus a few extra things we think will apply to our event," she said.

"In crowded areas like the hall, we will have separate entrances and exits, and we have purchased additional tiered seating for use at main attractions."

While wearing face masks is not mandatory, there will be free 'Tocal Field Days' face masks at the gate.

Tocal Field Days has always focused very strongly on providing practical information and advice on all aspects of farm management.

This year the Land Management area will feature demonstrations and talks on soil health, plant identification and bee biosecurity.

The livestock area is full this year with various breeders showcasing their stud and commercial stock.

Tocal Field Days will be held on April 30 to May 2 at Tocal Agricultural Centre, Paterson.

"Practical demonstrations of skills such as fencing, chainsaw skills and working dog are always popular with our visitors," Ms Franklin said.

A novel feature at the 2021 field days will be 'H2 Cuts' - a hydrogen powered haircut.

It is a mobile barber shop styled to look like a shearing shed which is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

It is presented in partnership with Sustainable Salons who will provide qualified local hairdressers to do the cutting and energy experts who provide information on farm energy.

It has been developed by the NSW DPI Energy Efficiency Project to promote and provide information on farm energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The Tocal Field Days will have the usual range of entertainment with a full program of live performers on two stages.

Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a great day out with access to the latest information and resources for the farmer, live entertainment and great food.

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