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Plans are ploughing ahead for East Anglia’s ‘only agricultural show of the year’

PUBLISHED: 12:26 25 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:26 25 June 2020

The 2020 Normac farm machinery demonstration is expected to go ahead on September 16 near Downham Market, assuming lockdown restrictions continue to ease. Picture: Ian Burt

The 2020 Normac farm machinery demonstration is expected to go ahead on September 16 near Downham Market, assuming lockdown restrictions continue to ease. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Organisers are ploughing ahead with plans for a major farm machinery demonstration in September – hoping as many as 4,000 people could visit the “only agricultural show in East Anglia this year”.

Scenes from the 2018 Normac machinery show near Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtScenes from the 2018 Normac machinery show near Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

While countless countryside events have been cancelled during the lockdown, the biennial Norfolk Farm Machinery Club (Normac) demonstration day is expected to go ahead on September 16 – “subject to any significant change to the current situation” and assuming the gradual relaxation of coronavirus restrictions continues during the next three months.

The event aims to show cutting-edge new machine technologies and agricultural techniques at work in a field near Downham Market.

Chris Thomas, county organiser for Normac, said this year’s event could be bigger than ever due to the pent-up demand from exhibitors and farmers – and he said all necessary measures will be taken to ensure the event complies with the evolving safety advice.

“As this is the only agricultural machinery show in East Anglia this year, Normac are expecting a record number of both exhibitors and visitors alike,” he said. “We will probably have 2-300 machines here, and I am confident we will have 3-4,000 visitors, all being well.

Scenes from the 2018 Normac machinery show near Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtScenes from the 2018 Normac machinery show near Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

“We are gradually coming out of lockdown and a lot of people are starting to think about autumn events.

“It is difficult to know what the government directives will be by mid-September, but when the time is right we will have to do a Covid risk assessment and go from there.

“If we get an autumn spike then the whole thing will be cancelled, but otherwise we are confident we will be able to go ahead.

“I think we will have more exhibits than ever before because people have not been able to exhibit and they have got a big show budget they have not been able to spend.”

Scenes from the 2018 Normac machinery show near Downham Market. Picture: Ian BurtScenes from the 2018 Normac machinery show near Downham Market. Picture: Ian Burt

More than 200 acres of the field will be used for cultivation and seed-drilling demonstrations, with experts on hand to explain the latest thinking in soil health, compaction issues and tyre choice.

Unusually, this year the site is currently sown with a green cover crop, so many exhibitors will be showing machinery for cover crop management and direct drilling techniques.

• The event is due to take place from 8am to 4pm on September 16. Entry and parking are free. The field is beside the A10 road, close to the Downham Market roundabout at Bexwell, which is being used by permission of Albanwise Farming. The postcode is PE34 3QN. For more information contact Chris Thomas on chris@tunbeckfarm.plus.com.


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