HOPES THAT this year's Open Farm Sunday could go ahead in September have faded, and 'real world' farm visits under the OFS banner have officially been postponed until next year.

When the country went into lockdown at the end of March, the OFS organisers opted to move online for a virtual farm open day on the original date of June 7, and delay physical visits until the autumn, by which time it was hoped the Covid-19 threat would have abated.

But after consulting widely with host farmers, sponsors and supporters, there continues to be concerns regarding hosting on-farm visits this year with the pandemic still an ongoing issue, prompting the decision to cancel all face to face on-farm LEAF Open Farm Sunday events.

Following the huge success of the first virtual events, there are now plans afoot to promote more virtual farm tours during the weekend of September 20, 2020, showcasing the tail end of harvest, drilling and autumn calving alongside many other aspects of farm life which the public may never get the chance to see.

All being well, Open Farm Sunday will return to the real world on Sunday, June 13, 2021.