It was wet, it was muddy and it was blooming sensational – that was this year’s Hart Field Day.
With a fantastic start to spring, not even early rain and a boggy track could dampen the spirits of 600 farmers and industry representatives who went along to the State’s leading agronomy field day last Tuesday.
Hart Field-Site Group chairman Damien Sommerville said there was undoubtedly an air of optimism in the crowd.
“We’ve had exceptional early spring rains, and while prices are down somewhat, it’s looking like that may be off-set with the potential for high yields,” Mr Sommerville said.
“I didn’t hear anyone say it’s not looking good.”
While dust often follows the crowd in for the annual Hart Field Day, there was mud aplenty this year but the field day went on, with the skies clearing for a near perfect afternoon.
Pulses were high on the program, tying in with the United Nations’ International Year of Pulses, with highlights including presentations from Canadian pulse researcher Professor Bert Vandenberg from the University of Saskatchewan and Pulse Australia chairman Peter Wilson.
Chef and author Simon Bryant showed just how easy it is to cook with pulses – demonstrating his ‘Chicken and dirt(y) Yorke Peninsula Kabuli Chickpea Tagine with harissa, and then addressing the lunchtime crowd with his amazing insight into the industry across the board, from cooking to sourcing and promoting the fresh, local food he is passionate about.
AGT Foods had Balaklava’s Royal Hotel chef Shayne Saunders serving lentil burgers for the crowd, while the Pulse Revival Station in the refreshments tent at the event’s conclusion provided yet another opportunity to see how easy it is to cook and eat pulses.
Featuring Simon Bryant’s Premium Red Bolt Lentil Shepherd’s Pie and also his Premium Kabuli Chickpea Falafel with Yoghurt, delicious hommus dips plus free samples and tastings of the full range of Pangkarra’s ready-to-eat chickpea and beans snack range, the tasting station proved very popular.
With a rolling program of 22 sessions and 39 specialist speakers, there were also plenty of other highlights at the field day, from Spring insect management and pasture production to variety trials and crop nutrition and soil testing.
“We were pleased to present another successful, solid, Hart Field Day and would like to thank everyone for coming along despite the early rain on the day,” Mr Sommerville said.
The next event on the Hart Field-Site Group calendar is its free Spring Twilight Walk on 17 October, from 5pm.