It may be the toughest time on the land in living memory, but AgQuip 2019 is a symbol that "we are not surrendering to this drought".
That was the comment from Australian Community Media Rural Events group manager Kate Nugent as the event day 1 unfolded at the site near Gunnedah yesterday.
Ms Nugent said that the figures were "remarkable" - including 3000-plus companies and 700-plus products and services represented during the three days.
"But the most impressive is the fact that we are not surrendering to this drought, and I think AgQuip gives a fine example of the strength of support from the industry," she said.
"We do appreciate that it is a time that is challenging our farming community, particularly in NSW, but AgQuip has had the most amazing support from exhibitors, and they come from all over Australia and also overseas."
By lunchtime today, the signs were good that it would be another strong event, Ms Nugent said.
Car parks, for instance - one of the measures of crowd numbers - were filling and new areas being opened.
Come and try
Ms Nugent said the event would have its usual strong focus on the tangible, such as demonstrations and test-drives.
"From rock-climbing to whip-cracking to test-driving motor vehicles and quad bikes ... it is really just incredible the wealth of activity that's happening on site," she said.
"It's that one time of the year when ... you can see, you can compare, you can feel it and you can have a go on it."
One example of this was at the Case IH site, where people had the chance to get "behind the wheel" of a new-to-Australia, high-horsepower tractor, the Connect Magnum.
The virtual test-drive was the same seat, armrest and display farmers could expect in the cab of the real thing, advanced farming systems product manager Andrew Kissel said.
"This is a total change from the design and architecture we're been using for the last 10 years," Mr Kissel said.
That made the set-up great for marketing, training and dealer education, he said.
"When you look at any sort of virtual reality technology, it's such an immersive experience; it allows people to feel as if they're almost there ...
"Having the simulated tractor is that much more realistic than just a display sitting on a tabletop."