Two Irish companies were among 12 innovation winners at LAMMA, Britain’s largest farm machinery, equipment and agri-services show.
There was a certificate of merit in the technological section for GrazeMate of Coolagown, Fermoy, Co Cork, for the GrazeMate Drover.
Winner of the NPA/Toplink Innovation Award at the Ploughing Championships for farmer-inventor Neilus Murphy, the battery-powered GrazeMate Drover opens and closes a barrier fence on demand when a mobile phone text message is sent to it.
It does away with time-consuming tasks such as following the herd back to pasture after milking, to close the gate after them. It can also be operated with a time clock set for the regular milking times.
It can be useful for buffer feeding, or to allow housing of cows during bad weather without having to go to the paddock.
Users can open or close paddocks at will, when leaving cows back in batches, such as when testing and dosing.
It can reduce visits to the fields by at least 50%.
GrazeMate Drover can be attached to a typical fence post, and is powered by a rechargeable battery.
Neilus said a number of UK distributors and agents are interested in his product.
He works with Donlouco in Mallow on manufacture.
* Also at the LAMMA (Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association) show, there was a farm machinery and equipment innovation certificate of merit for the rake and baler attachment system exhibited by MacAttach Ltd, Annaghmore, Headford, Killarney, Co Kerry. It allows raking, baling and wrapping in one pass.
A steel frame adaptor, mounted on a tractor’s rear linkage, allows a hydraulically driven rake to be placed between the tractor and a baler/wrapper. Power take-off, hydraulic and electric connections are transferred to the back of the frame, and the baler is attached with a high-mounted drawbar.
In work, the frame and attached rake are lowered onto a set of caster wheels, but lifted for road travel, or when reversing to wrap a bale.
* The best new mechanical product or innovation in the £10,000 or over category at the Lincolnshire show was the powered automatic gearbox towing dolly shown by local company Richard Larrington Ltd. The rear of this trailer can be raised to a height of 4m (13ft), allowing crops to be ejected into a waiting lorry trailer, using a sliding conveyor which can project material a distance of up to 2.2m (7ft 2in) from the trailer.
The crop transfer trailer’s conveyor can be fitted with a root web, rubber conveyor, or chute for smaller products such as fertiliser or grain.
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