Students' Bobble Trough keeps water for livestock clean

Students' Bobble Trough keeps water for livestock clean

New Zealand farmer Murray Tones was sick of going around his farm looking for water leaks, so he devised a water flow indicator, over six or seven years.

He went to the Gallagher Global animal management equipment company with his idea, and they incorporated it into an app for a smartphone.

The result is the Gallagher Water Flow indicator, which won the International Innovation Award last week at the big Fieldays agricultural show in New Zealand.

The Water Flow indicator is designed to find water leaks, and to easily check for leaks remotely.

The award judges said they were impressed by its brilliantly simple practicality, and they recognised how it will help to identify system leaks, and monitor water flow at a glance.

They were also impressed by its standalone design, and scalability to offer a more comprehensive farm water monitoring system through digital communication and easy to use smartphone apps.

The Fieldays Grassroots Established Award went to Imaginus Ltd for a unique prototype design for a packaging and delivery system for intramammary dry cow treatments and teat sealants.

They developed a trigger operated syringe for intramammary injection of antibiotics, in order to reduce plastic packaging (compared to traditional alternatives), and reduce labour and costs.

The Fieldays Launch NZ Award went to Future Post for an environmentally friendly fence post made from 100% recycled plastics, stronger and more durable than traditional fence posts.

The Fieldays Grassroots Prototype Award went to the PICMI platform which removes the need for paperwork when hiring staff.

The Young Innovator of the Year award went to St Paul’s Collegiate School for their Bobble Trough product.

The school’s teenage agribusiness students hope to go to the market with their invention, a 24/7 automated trough float with a small submerged electrode, which releases small amounts of copper ions into the trough water, preventing the growth of algae and microorganisms.

One of the young inventors, Cate Wilson, said: “There’s no idea or product that can clean troughs in this way.”

There’s a similar idea for pools, but the mass of the object is much larger, and ours is automated, through an app that we have designed

In second place was Gate+, designed by students Daniel Pearse, Sanraj Dhaliwal and Douwe de Boer. It is a custom-built gate for calf trailers, preventing calves from escaping when being unloaded. The product attaches to the back of existing trailers and can be modified to fit.

Students Teaghan Singh, Carlin Vollebregt and Mikayla McClennan, were in third place with their aluminium divider for a calf feeder, which prevents calves feeding on a “calfateria” coming in contact with each other, and ensures they receive the same amount of milk.

Fieldays attracted an attendance of over 130,000.

Enterprise Ireland supported the involvement of Irish companies exhibiting slurry spreaders, feeder wagons, dairy parlour equipment, grass toppers, and other products. They included Abbey Machinery, Combilift, Keenan, Dairymaster, Malone Machinery, Major Equipment, ProDig and HiSpec.

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