The list of rural events cancelled in the interests of stopping the spread of coronavirus is growing longer by the minute:
Hydroponic Farmers Federation conference
Due to the evolving global pandemic and its current escalation in Australia, the Hydroponic Farmers Federation executive committee have decided to postpone the 12th Biennial Conference that was due to take place this July 2020.
"This decision was not taken lightly and was made in consultation with our Naming Rights sponsors, Garden City Plastics and Powerplants (click here to read their supporting letter) with the health of our participants as priority," a statement read.
"We are following advice from Australian Federal and State Health authorities and closely monitoring the global risk assessment by the World Health Organisation.
"As the situation evolves and clears, we will provide an update on the new date for the 12th Biennial HFF Conference in due course with the aim to host it between mid-September and late-October 2020."
Hort Connections 2020, which was due to be held from June 15-17 at the Brisbane Conventions and Exhibition Centre has been postponed until 7-9 June 2021.
In a statement AUSVEG and the Produce Marketing Association of Australia - New Zealand (PMA-ANZ) said "our industry's top priority is the health and safety of our community; this includes consumers, growers and other industry partners".
"As such, the decision to postpone Hort Connections 2020 is, at this stage, the most responsible course of action we can take to maintain our community's health and safety.
"We will be monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Australia and abroad and will be working to ensure that Hort Connections will resume in 2021 bigger and better than ever.
"We will honour the financial commitments that industry and supply chain partners have made for Hort Connections 2020 and roll them over into next year's event. We will be in touch with each industry and supply chain partner separately over the next week to discuss these arrangements in more detail."
Wagyu conference, Gold Coast
The WagyuEdge 2020 annual conference and tour has been cancelled.
The Australian Wagyu Association Board and conference organising Committee are actively planning towards holding the WagyuEdge conference in 2021, with all speakers and sponsors contacted thus far fully supporting the re-staging of the event.
The Elite Wagyu Sale is proceeding as an online event. It has been live and online for the past four years and has grown year on year. Online selling is now firmly entrenched as a platform for achieving outstanding results.
To be fully online for this year, the Elite Wagyu Sale will be conducted via AuctionsPlus on 30 April, 2020 at 3.30pm AEST.
The preliminary Lot listing will be available by 27 March, 2020.
The Leucaena Network Conference 2020 - New Territories, New Vision was to be the flagship event for the network after a conference hiatus of several years.
Unfortunately, like most other events scheduled for the next few months, the Network's executive committee has decided to postpone what promised to be an engaging and enjoyable three-day industry event.
The Network's Executive Officer, Bron Christensen believes that whilst there were months of work involved in the Conference organization, the decision was inevitable in the interests of public health and safety.
"With the Conference still six weeks away, we held off making the final decision, hoping that some resolution to the spread of COVID-19 may be imminent, however as we now know, it is the only responsible course of action," she said.
"Prior to this, the concept of shutting down an entire country's activities for even a short period of time, let alone an extended period was unconscionable.
"Now we are all just hoping the timeframe for these preventative measures will not have to be extended into a significant number of months."
Ms Christensen said the Conference speakers, sponsors and delegates had all been very supportive.
"We have had very positive feedback from those involved in the conference that they are still ready to be a part of the program as soon as we are able to re-schedule," she said.
The Network has also been proactive in postponing a series of leucaena focused workshops.
"We have postponed three Introduction to Leucaena workshops and field days that were scheduled for April and May in Innisfail, Millmerran and Calliope.
Australia's premier sheep and lamb conference, LambEx, will be postponed for 12 months, with a new date set for June 30 to July 2 next year.
Conference chair Georgina Gubbins said LambEx organisers had made the decision to protect the wellbeing of all participants.
LambEx organisers are now working with the Melbourne Showgrounds to lock-in arrangements for 2021 to secure spaces to host 1100 delegates and 10,000 square metres for exhibition and networking.
NTCA conference Alice Springs
The Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association 2020 conference, which was to be held in Alice Springs on March 26 and 27, has been postponed until next year.
The organisation said the rapid and unpredictable nature of the changing advice means we cannot guarantee the event will be able to go ahead, even though it attracts 500 delegates.
There had already been a number of cancellations in the last 24 hours due to travel bans being placed on registered delegates by the organisations they work for.
This is expected to increase as more companies enforce travel bans and as a consequence reducing numbers moving forward will make the event, even a downsized event, financially difficult.
The annual general meeting on Thursday March 26th, for members only, will proceed.
The NTCA is also proposing to still have the Ladies Lunch and are seeking to confirm numbers from those who are still keen to attend the event on Thursday March 26th.
All registrations as they exist now will be carried over to the 2021 event.
ICMJ northern conference
The Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association will be postponing its Northern Conference, which was scheduled to be held in Rockhampton next month.
Hosted by CQUniversity and Teys Australia in Rockhampton, the event provides meat science training and career development networking to university students from across Australia, as well as young beef industry professionals.
However, with up to 100 people expected to be in close contact at the event and visiting numerous work sites in the Rockhampton region, the committee has decided the community's health and safety must take precedence.
"While communities all around the world would love to be operating business as usual, the challenges presented by coronavirus are unique and extreme - at times like this we all have a responsibility to support the efforts of our community leaders and public health officials in limiting the spread of this highly-infectious virus," IMCJ Northern Committee chair and Teys Biloela manager Ethan Mooney said.
"With this in mind the organising committee has taken what we believe is a sensible decision to postpone the 2020 conference until the such time as the risks to public health have been minimised."
A number of universities and large organisations, which were expected to attend, have also instituted restrictions on non-essential travel.
"By making the decision early, four weeks out from the event, we hope that we can provide attendees, speakers, event partners and sponsors, with the certainty they need to adjust their plans," Mr Mooney said.
"We will be contacting each of our partner organisations and will keep the lines of communication open with them as we make plans to re-convene the conference hopefully later this year."
The ICMJ Association is a not-for-profit organisation, supported by Meat & Livestock Australia and the Australian Meat Processing Corporation, with a mission to 'Inspire and develop future professionals in the global red meat industry'.
Now in its 30th year of existence, the Australian ICMJ has a long and successful reputation of attracting graduates to careers in the red meat industry.
Sydney Royal Show
This year's Sydney Royal Show has been cancelled. The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW president Robert Ryan made the announcement on Friday afternoon, saying it was distressing and disappointing but adding it was to protect people's health.
"There are many people who will be very upset by this decision, and this is the first time the Sydney Royal Easter Show has been cancelled because of a public health emergency since the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1919," Mr Ryan said.
This also means changes for the The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl and Rural Achievers competition and the ALPA Young Auctioneers Competitions.
Tasmania's Agfest organisers have cancelled the 2020 event, describing the decision as "absolutely heartbreaking".
The next Agfest will be held in 2021.
Organisers expected a crowd in excess of 65,000 to attend the event, originally scheduled for May.
Rural Youth state president Jake Williams said it was a heartbreaking moment for the more than 200 volunteers who help to organise the event.
Casino Beef Week
CASINO's famous May Beef Week has been postponed to later in the year.
The Casino Beef Week Committee said it would work towards delivering the iconic festival, possibly in early September, depending on Australian Government advice.
Wingham Beef Week
Coronavirus precautions means there will be an altered program for the 33rd annual Wingham Beef Week.
All activities scheduled for Wingham Showground as part of Wingham Beef Week have been cancelled and instead the annual event will be a carcase only competition.
The South East Field Days
The South East Field Days - South Australia's largest annual field days - due to be held later this week (March 20 and 21) has been cancelled.
Last Friday night the Lucindale Lions Club and SEFD committee held a meeting and in a secret ballot voted 19 votes to four votes to cancel the event which has been going for 42 years and attracts more than 15,000 patrons over the two days.
In a detailed statement it said it was with "deep regret" that it had cancelled the field days.
One of Victoria's most significant agricultural field days, Farm World, Lardner Park, Warragul, has been cancelled.
Now in its 53rd year, Farmworld joins a growing list of Victorian shows and agricultural events which have been cancelled or are under a cloud.
The Lardner Park board of management decided to cancel the annual event, after the declaration of a State of Emergency, by the Victorian government.
Farm Writers Q&A Sydney
The Farm Writers Association of NSW has reluctantly, but prudently, opted to postpone its March 27 Q&A lunch event in Sydney with rural and regional media boss, Antony Catalano, who part owns the Rural Press business, Australian Community Media.
Initial bookings suggested the Q&A forum was to be a sell-out, but it will now be rescheduled to later in the year.
Agribusiness Australia is rescheduling all March, April and May events to the second half of 2020.
This includes Agribusiness Australia's CEO Summit scheduled to take place on 6 April, and which will now be held later in the year.
Leading independent wool broker, AWN, has cancelled its 21st birthday celebrations in Sydney on April 1 because of fears about coronavirus.
Company founder, John Colley, said the decision had been made to protect the safety of clients, industry colleagues and staff.
The event will be re-scheduled for next year.
LEP Expo, Jakarta
MLA and LiveCorp have decided to postpone the 2020 LEP Expo, scheduled for April 7 and 8 April in Jakarta, Indonesia.
In a statement, LiveCorp said: "Indonesia is one of Australia's most important trading partners and we are committed to working together with its beef industry to support the food security of local communities. The LEP Expo presents a key opportunity to increase collaboration and share insights towards a more sustainable and safer trade.
"However, restrictions on large gatherings and travel are being put in place by industry and government to stem the spread of Covid-19. This is to protect the health of communities globally - a priority for all of us."
The Livestock Export Program's commitment is to ensure the highest quality conference is delivered and postponing the event will provide much greater opportunity for all speakers, exhibitors and delegates to participate. New dates in September and October 2020 are being considered and will be advised, once confirmed. There is uncertainty around the duration of the current global health challenge and a revised date may take some time to finalise.
Climate and carbon conference Adelaide
The Climate and Carbon in Agriculture 2020 Conference that was scheduled to be held March 31 and April 1 at the Adelaide Convention Centre has been postponed. The event organiser, Climate Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CRSPI), has determined that the potential for the COVID-19 virus to impact the event warrants the conference being postponed.
CRSPI said: "This decision has not been taken lightly and the organisers are cognisant of the impact it has on all involved including registered delegates, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and suppliers. Those who have registered will receive a full refund and will be notified once an alternative date has been identified."
Options for holding the Conference in October or November 2020 are being investigated and CRSPI encourages anyone keen to attend to register their interest so that they can be informed of details closer to the event.
The 2020 Syngenta Australian Melon Conference and Field Day scheduled for later this month has been cancelled.
The event was set to take place in Western Australia from March 30 to April 1, but the industry was advised via e-mail on Saturday of the event's cancellation.
The Australian Melon Associaiton said it decided not to postpone the conference due to the practical nature of the event with 3200 metres of trial crops making it difficult to repeat at a later time.
The Northern Australia Food Futures Conference 2020, to be held in the Northern Territory, has been postponed until March 1 to 4 2021.
The Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists has postponed its conference until 2021.
The Bundaberg Fruit & Vegetable Growers Gala Dinner is postponed until 2021.
Poultry Information Exchange (PIX) and Australasian Milling Conference (AMC), PIX/AMC 2020 which was due to be held on the Gold Coast between May 17 and 19 has been postponed.
Organisers said in a statement that they did not make the decision lightly.
"After close monitoring of the situation, in combination with the decisions made by the Australian Government with limiting non-essential gatherings and the tightening of international travel restrictions, we felt it was the right thing to do to protect the health and safety of our attendees and staff.
"We are working with the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) to reschedule the event. We will update everyone once we work through the rescheduling details with the GCCEC."
FarmFest on the outskirts of Toowoomba, which was to be held between June 2 to 5 has been postponed with organisers looking to reschedule in September.
Farm services company Nutrien Ag Solutions has decided to cancel clearing sales it was planning to run across Australia.
The company said it would review the decision in two weeks' time and consider any changing circumstances.
The Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland confirmed the 2020 Toowoomba Royal Show won't go ahead on March 26 to 28.
Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland president Shane Charles said the decision was one of the most painful decisions ever taken by the society.
"The show impacts on tens of thousands of local citizens as well as retailers, exhibitors, presenters, entertainers and judges from interstate and overseas," Mr Charles said.
"The cancellation also has significant ramifications for our regional economy given visitors will now not be utilising accommodation venues and restaurants and buying goods in local shops."
Other Queensland shows and events
Other Queensland shows and events which have cancelled include:
- Goomeri Show set for March 20 to 21
- Warwick Show, March 20 to 22
- Jandowae Show, March 21
- Julia Creek Dirt 'n Dust festival, April
- Easter at Einasleigh event, April 9-12
- 2020 NQ Games, Townsville, April 10-13
- Dalby Show, April 17 to 18
- Dirranbandi Show, April 18
- Brookfield Show, May 15 to 17
- Rockhampton Show, June 10 to 12
NSW shows and events
(information sourced The Agricultural Societies Council of NSW Facebook page)
- The Castle Hill Show that was to be held on March 21 and 22
- Tenterfield Show Society Campdraft has been postponed due to the coronovirus situation. All entry fees will be refunded in full.
- The 2020 Wingham Show has officially been cancelled for the safety of all concerned.
- Wauchope Show has been cancelled
- Lithgow Show has been cancelled.
- Cumnock Show
- Gunnedah Show Society wishes to advise that the 2020 Gunnedah Show has been cancelled.
- The 2020 Macksville Show has been cancelled
- Blacktown horse show
- Warialda Show
- Narrabri Show
- Baradine show
- Mendooran Show
- Holbrook Show
- Batlow Show
- Tocal Field Days
The Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland has delayed its annual conference, which was to be held in Roma on March 19-20. The LRTAQ said that at this point it anticipates running the conference later this year and will keep members up to date when a new date is known.
A Farmers2Founders Ideas Program for ag technology innovators planned for Toowoomba on Tuesday and Wednesday this week (March 17 and 18) has also been cancelled. The event was designed to bring a dozen or more developers behind farm and post farm-gate innovations together for a development program.
The story Find out what ag events have been cancelled across the country first appeared on Farm Online.