It was a grey and blustery day for the first ever Agri South show based at Faversham Showground. The site was an excellent choice of location, easily accessible from the M2 and A2 via the A229, with a short walk from the car park to the entrance of the event itself. The Southern Farmers pitch was located at the end of the main row of exhibitors, with Sencrop to our left and a view of the impressive Anglia Grain seen-cleaning lorry a little way in front.
After setting up, we were invited by the event sponsor, Kreston Reeves for a cup of coffee and a bacon roll. This was very much appreciated as it certainly was chilly! The main tent was located at the rear of the site, between the exhibitor’s tents and the trial plots. This meant it was in an excellent spot to catch passing trade on the way to view the trials.
Following our hearty breakfast, we decided to take a wonder over to look at the trials area for ourselves. It’s not something we had witnessed before, but we enjoyed looking at the different wheat varieties and pointing out which names we were familiar with! Davey Clarke, a NIAB soil expert approached us and explained the benefits of direct drilling on the soil, and with the use of his forklift, highlighted generations of severe soil compaction – dating back to the Roman era – and demonstrated how we can move to prevent this in the future. It was fascinating. Both Sarah and I were surprised to learn that livestock ground is usually much better, despite poaching due to wet weather and animals grazing for large proportions of the year.
On the walk back to our tent we were accosted by Dr David Jones PHD who was just about to start giving a talk on earthworms. We will be the first to admit we weren’t overly enamoured with the thought of sitting through the talk, but it’s safe to say David was as engaging and bright as his shirt! The meeting was light-hearted and informative, without burdening the audience with unusable science, and the positive reviews continued with all the visitors we met throughout the afternoon.
Photo taken from the Agri-South Facebook page.
The afternoon passed in a blustery haze. Many cups of tea were shared with suppliers and members alike all seeking shelter in our tent. The show was finished by mid-afternoon allowing visitors and exhibitors to make it home in good time. Agri South certainly has potential to grow into a great show in coming years. It was quieter than expected, we would assume largely down to Covid-19 hesitancy and the weather. The show was well organised and had a pleasant open lay out which made everything easily accessible. Exactly what a show needs to thrive. One to watch we think!
Sarah and I will be at Viti-Culture, 10th June at Plumpton College, we hope to see you there.