Irish innovation gets the thumbs up down under

New Zealanders have discovered the Samco maize growing system from Ireland, and bestowed one of their top awards for innovation on it.
Irish innovation gets the thumbs up down under

Irish farmers know all about the Samco machine which sows the seed, sprays the ground with a pre-emergence herbicide, and covers the embedded seed with a degradable film. The higher temperature under the film ensures rapid plant growth and protects the young maize plant from early frost. The Samco system also retains moisture in dry soils.

It is expected to have a significant impact on farming productivity in New Zealand’s South Island, making it possible for maize and other crops to be grown in previously unsuitable areas.

The Samco system is big news in New Zealand since it recently won the Fieldays Innovation Award for International Distinction. This award recognises agri-business on the global stage at the Fieldays event in Hamilton, New Zealand, the largest agribusiness exhibition in the southern hemisphere.

Th innovation win follows Samco’s recent success as a finalist in Ireland’s Entrepreneur of the Year awards, sponsored by Ernst and Young.

Sam Shine of Samco said, “We entered the Samco System into the innovations awards under the international section some months ago along with many other wonderful and interesting ideas to make farming life easier and safer in New Zealand.

“Our machines were shipped out to New Zealand in early March in readiness for the event. I was absolutely delighted to accept this award on behalf of all the team back home at Samco.”

Samco Agricultural Manufacturing employs 35 people at Adare, Co Limerick, with annual sales of around €11 million, including export business in countries such as France, Japan and Canada. The winning machine is now available in an eight-row version to suit the larger acreage markets, added to existing two, four, and six-row machines. Samco also took the opportunity to introduce New Zealand farmers to the new Samco Field Lift, designed to improve soil structure and increase crop yields, and the Samco BagPress for farm feed storage.

Samco was one of nine companies to come to Fieldays with Enterprise Ireland. Other Irish products on show were the Monford Ag Systems Grassometer monitoring system which can be strapped onto a farmer’s boot or pole, and the Graze Mate Drover, billed as the world’s first automated portable paddock gate, which won a first prize at the National Ploughing Championships for Neilus Murphy from Coolagown, near Fermoy, Co Cork.

Both use smartphone technology.

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