Preparing for the Suffolk Show has provided show director John Taylor with some welcome respite from a challenging start to the farming season.

As he gears up for his second year at the helm, he is delighted at how the team has pulled together and how well preparations are going at Trinity Park near Ipswich in the final week leading up to the big event on May 29 and 30.

Two perfect show weather days would be an added bonus for the 80k or so visitors the event is likely to draw over the bank holiday half term.

But the showground is very well drained - meaning it is able to cope whatever the conditions.

In his day job, John - a seasoned professional farmer with many years under his belt - likes to see the positives from one of the wettest autumn to spring periods on record.

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But even he with his upbeat outlook has had his moments, he admits, and weather-wise it has been "very frustrating" for farmers.

"It does seems like it's been raining since the last show. I think since June 28 we have seen four clear weeks where there has been no rainfall," he says.

"I'm always trying to put a positive spin on it. The show gives me some release to go somewhere different off the farm."

Preparing for the show also allows him to view his farming challenges from a different perspective, he says.

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"If we have extremes it creates opportunity. If we achieve what we set out to in a different way we really feel like we have won - particularly against the weather," he says.

"Our crops are in and they are getting rain every week - it's better than a drought."

Added to that, East Anglian farmers have fared better than other parts of the country where some fields are still under water.

Livestock farmers have been particularly hard-hit - and all at a time when the old order is being overturned, and the traditional subsidies farmers have relied upon removed.

"It all adds to the toughness of being a farmer. It's going to be tougher in terms of our incomes as well . We are in times of change for farming and it does really come hard on people because people don't like change."

John and his deputy show director, Brian Barker, are big-scale arable farmers based near Woodbridge and Stowmarket respectively. For them, weather is just another challenge to overcome.

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Both are taking the hit from having 54ha and 50ha respectively not cropped this year. It's an opportunity to tackle structural repair work and get soils in order and weeds under control.

Back on the farm, both are relying on a strong team so that they can devote time to organising the county's biggest two-day event of the year.

The show is a massive undertaking made easier by having a team with huge experience and many years under its under its belt.

There are more than 600 trade stands and all the infrastructure that entails. Then there's the livestock and equine competitions, the rosettes to organise and the events scheduled in the rings.

The event is now part of the Royal International Horse Show which has ramped up numbers even further. Cattle and sheep entries are high - and the heavy horse rings will enjoy another bumper year under the direction of Mark Donsworth.

"Brian and I just turn up and it's done - it's a real team effort," says John. "It has been pretty damn good - the build-up has been superb. Our team they have done so many shows - they are so good at it."

John is set to serve a three-year term as show director - and is keen to build on the success of last year's event.

"There's so much to see you need two days here," he says. "It's great for families because where else are you going to take your family for nothing (children are admitted free of charge)?"

This year's president is Bishop Martin Seeley who will be showing royal visitor the Duke of Gloucester around the showground.

Among the highlights will be a Normandy 80 display highlighting the June 6 landings in France 80 years ago as the Allied ground onslaught against the Nazis began.

Ipswich Town players will be also be at the event as the team celebrates its promotion to the Premier League.

Farming - as ever - will be an important element of the show. This year, the Farm4Future area will be trying to encourage more people to feel inspired and enthused at what the industry offers and help fill labour shortages.

Sugar beet farming will be highlighted as part of the show's Farming Live display headed up by Simon Eddell.

Beet is a complicated crop with pluses and minuses. On John's farm it is the one with the highest gross margin - but getting the beet off the field in wet conditions is a nightmare. He's still drilling the crop even as the show approaches.

"We like to talk about how we have overcome a situation," says John. "It's probably why farmers make good show directors."