THE biggest field day event in southern NSW has now fallen victim to restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organisers of the popular Henty Machinery Field Days, held each year in September, have announced that the 2020 event will not go ahead.
Henty Machinery Field Days chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the unknowns for large mass gatherings beyond the Federal Government's stage three roll-out of restrictions made organising and planning the event difficult.
The Henty Machinery Field Days is the nation's largest field days and outdoor agricultural event, with an economic value of more than $92 million and were due to be held on September 22-24.
"It has become apparent the field days will not be able to go ahead in 2020," Mrs Anderson said.
"Without a clear path to the end of this pandemic and the full easing of social restrictions, the obstacles to running a successful, and more importantly safe Field Days, were insurmountable.
"We are a national event and with state borders closed we would disappoint all our exhibitors from interstate along with the many visitors we have who attend from around the nation and overseas.
"This has been a difficult decision for organisers knowing it would disappoint all of our stakeholders, including members, staff, sponsors, exhibitors community groups and visitors."
Mrs Anderson said the HMFD Co-operative would use the time provided to improve assets to ensure a bigger and better experience at the 2021 event on September 21-23.
"We thank everyone for their support and patience while we deliberated on the decision," she said.
"The field days have been cancelled twice in their history due to economic recession in 1970 and 1971, and regrettably the HMFD Board was forced to make the call this year.
"We are devastated for the region, our volunteers, the 22 community organisations, thousands of exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors - it will be sorely missed."
Mrs Anderson said the HMFD team was now busy investigating options for a virtual format of the event in September with more information to be released at a later date.