Supporting innovative businesses has always been at the heart of Lamma, and the winners of this year’s Innovation Competition are no exception. Geoff Ashcroft rounds up the winners.
The best product or innovation at Lamma 2016 was awarded to Target Set Technology for the development of its Side Ridge Injection (SRI) system. The firm also won the farm machinery and equipment innovation award, in association with Farmers Guardian.
SRI injects liquid fertiliser into potato ridges, directly into the root zone, improving nutrient uptake. Trials over the last three years have found the system to offer a yield increase of 5-10 per cent for potatoes, and the company is looking to try the system in carrot, parsnip and onion crops.
“We weren’t expecting to win,” says general manager Charlie Baker (pictured). “We were chuffed to be shortlisted, but to be recognised for innovation is a big step forward for the development of this simple application system.”
Target Set Technology was formed to develop and promote new technologies and services to potato growers and other industries. It is backed by Standen Engineering, which owns 40 per cent of Target Set.
As a result, SRI is available in two-row and six-row formats, using either a 1,000 or 1,500-litre tank, and outputs are said to be up to 3ha/hour for the larger machine.
Mr Baker says fertiliser application rates from 500-1,000 litres/ha are possible, while an auto rate controller maintains output regardless of changes in forward speed.
Vicon marched off with the best new product or innovation in the technological category, for the innovative FastBale – a non-stop round baler/wrapper combination based on a fixed chamber round baler.
“Winning such a prestigious award provides great recognition for the way Vicon continues to push round baler innovation forward,” explains Vicon sales manager David Furber (pictured).
The non-stop round baling solution integrates a pre-chamber with a main chamber and a wrapper, and is capable of achieving spot work rates of up to 100 bales/hour.
“FastBale offers genuine productivity and efficiency gains with a fixed chamber round baler,” he says. “With no need to stop baling while net wrap and bale transfer take place, the amount of time saved when baling, is staggering.”
FastBale will be available in limited numbers for the 2017 season.
Kverneland’s IsoBus-equipped i-Plough was awarded best new product or innovation in the mechanical crop equipment category.
Using IsoBus enables operators to input plough settings and depth requirements from the cab, and maintain perfect furrows.
“The Kverneland i-Plough has been five years in the making, but its introduction has finally taken the guesswork and trial and error, out of plough settings,” says Adam Burt (pictured), Kverneland product manager.
While this application of electronic technology might be snubbed by purists, Mr Burt says it will give less experienced operators more confidence to deliver a better ploughed finish for seedbed preparation, which in turn will lead to better agronomy.
“i-Plough represents the future of ploughing,” he says. “And to win such an award is great recognition of how technology can assist even the humblest of implements.”
The award for best new product or innovation in the mechanical livestock production equipment category was awarded to Bryce Suma Post Drivers, for its hydraulic rock spike engagement system.
Previously, the rock spike attachment needed to be swung into place by hand - a task described by its creator, Jock Bryce (pictured), as an area where productivity could be gained.
His solution was to install a hydraulic ram with suitable linkage to slew the rock spike into and out of its working position, and is one that is patent pending.
“Swinging the rock spike into place by hand required climbing over wire strands, pulling the heavy mechanism into place, and then removing it once the rock spike had been used,” he says. “Now, it can be done at the tug of a lever from the back of the machine.”
This award is the third time Mr Bryce has won at Lamma since his first in 2006. “Its great to get recognition for innovation that makes life safer and more efficient for our customers.”
Poclain Hydraulics won the best new product or innovation award in the environmental category, for two new high performance, high-efficiency hydraulic motors.
The MHP20 and MHP27 have been re-engineered to reduce pressure losses and improve performance. By redesigning oil galleries, and focussing on oil distribution, the firm reckons its new motors offer 25 per cent more performance than the models they replace.
“Components are often the unsung heroes of many a machine, so we’re proud to have been identified for delivering efficiency gains among hydrostatic drive transmissions in agricultural machinery, says Poclain sales engineer Neal Armiger (pictured).
Lamma innovation award sponsor SSAB teamed up with IAgrE for 2016 to create a new award – that of a health and safety award.
And the first of its kind was awarded to TrakJak, a development that won last year’s farm machinery and equipment innovation award in association with Farmers Guardian.
To use Trakjak, the rear lift arms of a tractor are connected to the Trakjak frame which runs under the tractor’s pickup hitch. Raising the lift arms pulls the frame against the hitch and simply levers the tractor off the ground.
“TrakJak takes out the guesswork of setting up bottle jacks and using blocks of wood,” says creator Pauric Fay (pictured) of Co Cavan-based PF Enterprises. “And it is great to get an award that identifies the health and safety benefits of using TrakJak.”
Mr Fay is currently working on a European-spec version that can be used with tractors equipped with continental ladder-type hitches.