Despite the bitter blow of the AgQuip field days being cancelled, rural businesses are banking on a bumper crop season to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic.
Double R New Holland Tamworth manager Sam Miles said the major agricultural event in Gunnedah would be missed, but it was better to put it off and start fresh next year.
ACM Rural Events originally postponed the field days to November but last week announced it had to be cancelled because of government restrictions.
"Moving AgQuip to November was not the best move ... we're heading into what looks like a pretty good season with the moisture profile, especially out west and we'll have our heads elsewhere," Mr Miles said.
"It will be a shame that it doesn't run, but at the end of the day ... we've been flat out for three months trying to make sure everyone's got machinery and it's all running."
Mr Miles said Double R staff were anticipating a good yield from crops this year.
"It has been so long since we had a crop in the ground ... it's looking like it'll be a bloody big harvest. You don't want to jinx it but it could be a massive year so you don't really have time to go to field days if you're a producer," he said.
Mr Miles said it was also an expensive exercise for the business, based in Gunnedah and Tamworth, to transport and set-up machinery at AgQuip, but now Double R can put that money towards doing their own demonstrations with farmers in a COVID-safe way.
The manager has been going to AgQuip for more than two decades, and said Double R would be back again in 2021.
"We'll definitely be there in coming years to catch up with customers and suppliers and it is a brilliant event, it enables customers, dealers and suppliers to get together and check it out," he said.
AgQuip is not just a few days, it's the next 12 months. We get phone calls from people that have been there maybe one or two years before, asking about products.Adrian Tefler, Tefler Rural Tamworth
Adrian and Fiona Tefler from Tefler Rural Tamworth said they would miss the financial gain and exposure that results from AgQuip, but they were looking for the positives.
"The change from August to November was going to be a huge challenge, and clash with one of the biggest harvests on record if the season goes ahead," he said.
"The way the harvest is shaping up, it may not have allowed for a large number of people to turn up."
Despite his optimistic outlook, Mr Tefler said the family-owned business and its suppliers would undoubtedly feel the financial pinch of the cancellation.
"For us, it's about a $20,000 investment to get to AgQuip," he said.
But, that investment is met with a "ten-fold" financial gain, he estimated.
"AgQuip is not just a few days, it's the next 12 months. We get phone calls from people that have been there maybe one or two years before, asking about products," Mr Tefler said.
"With the volume of material we use, if the production drops even a percentage, we don't need as much material and that's going to have a flow-on effect for a number of local businesses."
Peel Valley Machinery's Phil John has been exhibiting at AgQuip since "day one" and said "it's our main marketing project for the year" so the cancellation is "a blow from that perspective".
"We take our display at AgQuip pretty seriously in that it's in the heart of our region. We have five branches in the Namoi Valley and geographically, Gunnedah is in the middle of the valley," he said.
"It's a great opportunity for our customers to see products all in one spot. There is a certain amount of research that is undertaken at AgQuip, that is for sure.
"It provides people with the ability to go from one manufacturer to the next, hopefully to actually see and physically look at the product they may be interested in. That certainly is a factor in some people's decision-making."
Mr John said it was difficult to quantify the effect of AgQuip on the year's sales because "it's very much dependent on the year and how the season has been going", but "it does stimulate business".
However, he said "November would have been very difficult for us to do anything significant at AgQuip".
"The postponement to the proposed November dates would not have worked very well for us," Mr John said.
"On one hand, AgQuip provides a great opportunity, but on other hand, the timing in November was not favourable for machinery dealers and farmers because it is normally an extremely hectic and busy time with harvest and summer crop planting and farming in general."