IT STARTED with traffic snarls and lines of slow-moving vehicles on roads leading to AgQuip, but the biggest day of Australia’s largest field days has ended with a bumper crowd and big-ticket sales records.
The biggest-ticket item was a half-million-dollar Case IH quad-track tractor sold on the Wednesday trading day at the Gunnedah site – but it was only one of scores that lifted organisers’ hopes and entertained visitors. AgQuip chief Barry Harley reported that day two of the historic 40th annual three-day event had not only seen the biggest crowd, but a quality crowd with their wallets open for suppliers and agricultural retailers.
Mr Harley said the event had even registered its biggest ever parcel pick-up – where heavy sales items are picked up and set down at a central collection point, for easier access at the end of the event.
Organising spokeswoman Kate Nugent said day two was enormous in every way, with exhibitors smiling all the way to the bank and happy customers leaving with their arms full and the parcel pick-up utes working overtime.
“This was always going to be a festive event, but to have the combination of a festive atmosphere and major sales generated is a delight for us all, organisers and exhibitors,” Ms Nugent said.
“Driving exhibitors back to their cars this afternoon I heard story after story from tool companies, fertiliser companies, scarifier companies, you name it, all positive stories of tens of thousands of dollars in sales – and in Case IH’s case, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth.
“We’re way up on last year. It just paints an accurate picture of the Australian agricultural industry. We are confident, not just optimistic and we’re proving with our farmers, all 355,000 of them who feed Australians and the world markets, that we’re showcasing the biggest and the best here at Gunnedah.”
Suppliers have reported huge trading days since the gates opened Tuesday morning, with one Tamworth machinery seller saying he’d had the biggest ever Tuesday in the 40 years they’d been exhibiting. But while it ended with a super-sized sales day, yesterday started very, very slowly.
Traffic heading to AgQuip using the Kamilaroi and Oxley highways posed bumper to bumper problems for highway patrol and general duties police early in the morning – and one particular incident kept officers extra busy.
Just after 10am a Toyota Camry that allegedly ran another motorist off the Oxley Highway was stopped in Conadilly St in Gunnedah and questioned by police.
Highway officers were alerted to the car by a motorist who had been travelling from Manilla en route to Gunnedah about 9am. It is understood when the driver attempted to overtake the Camry and another car. the Camry pulled out in front of it forcing it to swerve off the highway and into a number of guideposts.
The driver managed to regain control of his car.