Vintage display crop growth on track

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VINTAGE CROP: Anthony Hampton (left) and John Hall of Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club check out the growth of the milling wheat planted for harvest displays during Wheel and Wheels next month.
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Three hectares of milling wheat is growing in readiness for harvesting displays by vintage and modern machinery at the upcoming Wheat and Wheels Rally.

The newest and biggest pivot tractors are expected to be on show and much more.

Members of the Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club are hosting their 2024 event on April 6 and 7, at the farm of member Anthony Hampton at Lauriston.

It’s taken months of planning.

The Discovery milling wheat stands about 60cm tall in the display field.

‘‘It’s flowered, it’s doing its thing, it will be starting to turn the golden colour,’’ Hampton said.

The field will be the harvest demonstration area for the wheat and wheels event.

‘‘It could have gone in a little bit later, this was drilled in November, but it all depends on the season.

‘‘This has had a very dry time over Christmas and New Year, so it’s taken a lot of water to keep it going.’’

Other paddocks are set aside for carparking, trades sites and displays.

There will be a range of demonstrations and displays on show.

IDEAL GROWTH: Anthony Hampton, left, and John Hall in the wheat grown especially for harvest displays during the 2024 Wheat and Wheels Rally.

Hampton and fellow club member John Hall say the wheat was at an ideal height.

‘‘That’s what you’d want. You don’t want too much straw for these old combines that won’t handle it,’’ Hall said.

‘‘We don’t want a 16-tonne to the hectare crop.’’

Registrations have opened for people wanting to show machinery, of any type, make, model and year at the show, and close March 29.

There will be tractors, motorbikes, cars, trucks and farm machinery of varying sizes.

Among the displays would be the celebration of 100 years of IH Farmall, which started production in 1924 and wheat to harvest with vintage headers.

Traction engines and a military display will also be on show.

‘‘I’m sure there will be some of the latest tractors and combines.

‘‘We’ve got some big ones around here, you know as big as you can buy,’’ Hall said.

‘‘Some of this stuff is too big to go to A& P shows, but we will have room. We can handle the big stuff. People that don’t want to see old (machinery) can see the latest and greatest,’’ Hall said.

Among them modern pivot steers costing about $1m, tractors that fold in the middle and a 1938 Allis Chalmers harvester purchased new by Lincoln College and donated by latterday owners Wilkinsons of Chertsey to the machinery club.

FARMALL HEAVEN: John Hall surrounded by Farmall tractors in the shed of the Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club.

Entries were coming in but organisers expect there would be a late rush.

‘‘In the past there has always been a real influx just before closing,’’ Hampton said.

Hampton and Hall will have about 24 entries between them in a mix of tractors, combines, hay balers, and other farm machinery.

A host of volunteer groups are helping out over the rally weekend including members of Lauriston’s school community selling food and the fire brigade on bar duties, Methven’s Lions will be manning the gates, and Search and Rescue doing overnight security.

The machinery club will also raise money for Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Í The Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery 2024 Wheat and Wheels Rally on farm at the Hampton property, Lauriston Barrhill Rd, entry off Orrs Rd, April 6 and 7.