For the first time in its 58-year history, Wimmera Machinery Field Days has been cancelled.
On Friday, event manager Murray Wilson said sticking to the March 2-4 schedule for the 2021 event presented "high risk and uncertainty".
"The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have a significant impact on the major events industry," he said.
"We were looking forward to being the first major Agricultural Field Days for next year coming off the back of what is looking to be yet another great farming season for the Wimmera.
"With the current interstate travel restrictions in place and an unknown timeline for when border crossings and interstate travel will be freed up, there is a certain pressure on decision making. The Wimmera Machinery Field Days is such a large-scale event, we are not in position to leave decision making until the last minute."
The Longerenong event had been the only field days to go ahead in 2020, taking place two weeks before state and federal governments first began enforcing pandemic restrictions.
"We value the support of all our Field Days exhibitors, contractors, partners, suppliers and community groups who each year help make this a great regional event," Mr Wilson said.
"Not having a Wimmera Machinery Field Days, the first-ever cancellation since 1963, is going to have a significant impact on the wider Wimmera region and will also impact all those exhibitors looking forward to the event in 2021."
"The WMFD committee will now be focussing on making the next Field Days (in March 2022) a huge success for everyone. It will put us in a position to be well prepared a responsible COVID-19 safety plan and risk management framework in place based on the latest advice."
Mr Wilson said the field days committee would submit an expression of interest to the federal government for the newly-announced funding to support such events.
More to come.
Earlier: Committees organising field days can now apply for one-off reimbursements to stay afloat during the pandemic.
On Friday, the federal government announced a $2.7 million boost for field days that have cancelled their events.
The events will not have to compete with one another to access assistance.
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the extra funding would "provide a real boost to our local communities as they battle the economic fallout of COVID-19."
The government will provide $100,000 of assistance to Association of Agricultural Field Days of Australasia so the Ag Field Days arm of Victorian Agricultural Society can stage its annual meeting.
Mr Tehan said for more information, people could visit www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/infrastructure/supporting-ag-shows.
Mallee Machinery Field Days in Speed, due to take place on August 5 and 6 of this year, was cancelled due to coronavirus.
The Mail-Times has contacted Wimmera Machinery Field Days for comment.
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