NAAC cancels U.K. agricultural contractor 2019 conference
December 3, 2019 By Drainage Contractor
The National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) cancelled their Contractor 2019 event, also known as the Fit for the Future conference, scheduled for Dec. 12, 2019 at the East of England showground in Peterborough, England.
The Association cited that recent events have made it difficult for contractors to commit to attending the conference. The conference was also cancelled to avoid speakers and exhibitors committing resources for a potentially limited audience.
“A perfect storm of a general election, uncertainty in the industry and unprecedented bad weather this autumn has left insufficient numbers of contractors able to commit to the event this year,” NAAC wrote in a press release.
NAAC states that the wet weather in particular “has left many contractors struggling with delayed work and trying to get on the land.” Robert Hawtin, who farms near Towcester, south of Northamptonshire in central England, spoke to Farmers Weekly about how a wet autumn has delayed his drilling and hedge-cutting plans on his farm. Hawtin explains, “We were held back in August for one month because of the regulation [during bird-rearing season] when it was like a dustbowl. Then September came, the heavens opened and it has been wet ever since. It has just stopped us in our tracks.” The saturated fields would’ve fared no better for drainage contractors.
“Huge uncertainty in the industry and an election are already putting contractors under pressure and the very wet autumn has compounded the problem. As a result, we are in the unusual situation, this late in the year, that contractors are still struggling to get on with autumn work,” added Duncan Russel, CEO of NAAC, in the release.
NAAC said it will consider moving the event forward in 2020.
NAAC is the representative organization for contractors in the U.K. who supply all types of land-based services to farmers, government, local authorities, sports and recreational facilities.
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