Twenty-three South Island farmers will aim to keep on the straight and narrow this weekend when they compete in the Upper Clutha ploughing competitions at Hawea.

Organiser John Osborne said the 22 men and one woman would be judged mostly on "tidiness":

"The ploughing lines have to be straight and uniform, and the general appearance must be nice to look at."

Osborne said ploughing was becoming a dying art and the competitions were a way to promote and encourage interest in the skill.

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Ground conditions were very good for the event and there would be a good selection of conventional ploughing, reversible, vintage/classic and a team of horses competing, he said.

The winner will qualify for the annual New Zealand Ploughing Championships next year.