Innovation and technology are key themes at this year’s South Island Agricultural Field Days, featuring an exciting line up of entries for the event’s Innovation Award.
This year’s entries include technology and innovation as varied as a methane reduction tool for dairy farm effluent ponds, to a simple means of anchoring centre pivot irrigators prior to a storm event.
Awards co-ordinator Andrew Stewart said the field days have a well-established reputation for showcasing emerging innovation that is practical and usable by farmers looking for solutions to every day farming challenges, and emerging “big picture” issues like green house gas emissions and water quality improvement.
“And this year is certainly no exception. Many of our visitors will already be familiar with the Ravensdown Ventures EcoPond technology that is capable of removing almost all the methane from dairy farm effluent, along with bacteria and phosphate.”
Another Canterbury sourced innovation entry farmers will be able to get up close with is an innovative tech from FieldMate for protecting the electric drive motor used in seed drills.
The innovative drive system enables operators to define the distance between each seed released by the seeding disc on a drill, ensuring distance between seeds is kept tightly controlled, ensuring even crop emergence.
The technology showcased in the award protects the rev counter sitting inside the seed drill metering system’s electric motor.
Farmers grappling with problems caused by centre pivot ruts will also welcome the opportunity to check out the latest innovation from Ruts Plus.
The company’s solar powered, wirelessly operated machine follows the ground contour without any adjustments required, regardless of ground conditions. The same company has also entered a pivot rut filler for easy, economical filling of centre pivot ruts.
Farmers who have grappled with tying down their centre pivot irrigators in the face of howling gales will also appreciate Gray Engineering Solutions’ entry.
Its pivot anchors were developed to provide a cost-effective, simple means of anchoring them down, reducing the impact of high winds on the expensive equipment.
“The Field Days always provide an excellent showcase for local innovation that comes from problems farmers here have needed solving, and this year is no exception.
“Farmers appreciate being able to see, touch, and use this tech, knowing it is the solution to something they may have struggled with for some time,” says Stewart.
Judging is conducted by a panel of experienced industry experts, with the winner announced during the field days event.
“We feel confident this year’s entries do an excellent job in maintaining the exceptional standard of innovation we have seen in past years.
“Farmers are going to enjoy having the opportunity to be among the first to engage with the class leading technology that is going to be on display this year.”
Winners of the Innovation Award also receive prize money of $2500. The Field Days are being held at Kirwee from March 29 to 31.