‘It’s one of those years where you just don’t know’ – McHugh on ‘Ploughing 2020’ prospects

Potential exhibitors at the 2020 National Ploughing Championships will be guaranteed a full refund in case the event is not held – in light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

Anna Marie McHugh, of the National Ploughing Association (NPA), confirmed to AgriLand that prospective exhibitors would be fully refunded, depending on the situation come Tuesday, September 15.

McHugh also said that the application process for exhibitors has been pushed back by around 10 days, as a result of a “new work environment”, with exhibitor staff working from home.

The application process would normally have started this week, McHugh explained.

McHugh said the issue of refunds was “one less decision” the exhibitors had to make in relation to exhibition space.

As regards what decisions will be ultimately taken regarding ‘Ploughing 2020’ in the current situation, McHugh indicated that it was too early at this stage to know what would be decided, but that Government advice on heath and safety would be followed.

“Everything is provisional for everyone,” McHugh stated, noting that the country may not “be ready” for an event the size of the Ploughing Championships come September.

There are also questions over whether or not it will be possible to begin preparations in July, which is typically the case.

“It’s just one of those years where you just don’t know,” McHugh observed.

Covid-19 affect on agriculture

The agriculture sector is feeling the effects of Covid-19 as much, if not more, than other economic sectors, with many events postponed, cancelled, or rearranged.

Most recently, yesterday evening, Wednesday, March 18, Aurivo Marts announced that it will be temporarily suspending all its livestock sales from Monday, March 23, until at least the end of the month.

The decision has been made in light of Covid-19, and will be reviewed in the intervening period.