Wheat sown for popular rally

Massey collector Anthony Hampton has been sowing Viceroy wheat on-farm in preparation for next year's Wheat and Wheels Rally.

Grain farmer Anthony Hampton has timed the final sowing of wheat on his Lauriston farm to perfection.

Seven hectares of Viceroy wheat, used for milling, went in the ground recently and will be ready to harvest as part of a display event during the Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club’s Wheat and Wheels rally in early April.

Mr Hampton is hosting the rally, on April 2 and 3, at his farm along Lauriston Barrhill Road, at the northern side of Mid Canterbury.

He was especially keen to host it as it was timed to celebrated the 175th anniversary of Massey.

Mr Hampton, a third generation farmer, is a huge Massey fan and has an impressive collection of Massey machinery and vintage tractors.

His particular affliction is Massey-Harris tractors.

But he’s not averse to the odd Allis-Chalmers, or even a Case.

His Massey collection, which he has been collecting and restoring for more than 40 years, will be joined by others owned by club members and not just Massey, there will be hundreds of machinery entries on show ranging from vintage classics to ultra-modern, as well as some of New Zealand’s largest tractors and combines.

There will be working demonstrations and static displays.

Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club’s John Hall, left, and Anthony Hampton at the Hampton farm during the final stages of wheat sowing.

The Wheat and Wheels rally has been years in the planning with crop rotations on-farm managed so wheat was ready as part of a harvest display.

As well as allowing other paddocks to be available for use as a centre ring for parades, another display area, food and craft stalls and car parking.

The event will see everything from traction engines, military display to vintage and classic tractors, cars and trucks on display.

Mr Hampton runs a cropping operation with wife Julie, on their 570 hectare farm.

He was the first generation on the farm, which he bought more than 40 years ago; has two sons and a daughter, and has been involved in cropping all his life.

Before irrigation was available on the farm, he also had a crop and sheep operation, now there were more crops and up to 6500 store lambs.

The wheat field will be used by members who want to run their headers at the rally. Some of the new headers had bigger capacity to harvest, he said.

Mr Hampton said Massey-Harrises were his tractor of choice, in part because Massey-Fergusons were used on the farm.

They also provide excellent service, he said, of the dealers.

The last time the club ran the event was at Wakanui in 2016 and it drew in more than 6000 people over its two days and more than 800 entries of a vast range of machinery.

There was also a sizable donation made to Ronald McDonald House. This time rally profits will go to Westpac Rescue Helicopter Trust.