The town is a service town for the surrounding farming district. The Feilding Saleyards have been a vital part of the wider Manawatu community for over 125 years. As transport systems improved and farming practices changed, the need for small, local saleyards all but disappeared, leaving few major selling complexes in New Zealand. Manawatu is a diverse and fertile farming area with high production, high stock-carrying capacity and a stable climate. These factors make Feilding Saleyards a popular medium for many farmers. A unique aspect of Feilding Saleyards is their location in the centre of town.
The Manawatu Plains, on which the town is sited, are very fertile land, and as such it is a prosperous agricultural area. Being located on the floodplain of a major river has its problems, however, and in February 2004 the town suffered extensive flooding. In 2009 the Horizons Regional Council commissioned a new flood protection scheme to prevent extensive flooding in the future.
Feilding has won the annual New Zealand's Most Beautiful Town award 14 times, and the town is the seat of the Manawatu District Council.
The town is currently extending its CBD beautification featuring paving and planter boxes on the footpaths on the main streets in the CBD, including the realignment and beautification of Fergusson Street to the South Street entrance of Manfeild Park. The attractive CBD has contributed to the thriving retail scene, which includes boutique stores (Poppies, CAST..) and national/international chains (Paperplus, Ballentynes, Postie Plus).