With the Lamma show just a couple of months away, it is time to dust off those drawings, finish the welding and put forward an entry for the 2017 Lamma Innovation Awards. Geoff Ashcroft looks back at the most recent award winners.
Lamma continues to bring out the best of the British farming industry’s innovators. And the 2017 show is looking to uphold tradition, as it seeks to showcase yet more jewels from the farming industry’s crown.
Target Set Technology was awarded the best new product or innovation at Lamma 2016 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, affording improved nutrient uptake. The judges were particularly impressed by the yield improvement and reduced use of chemicals.
Since winning the award at the start of 2016, the firm has built on its early successes and is extending the application of SRI beyond potatoes.
“We’ve carried out a lot of contract work with SRI during 2016 and we now have several units running trials in carrots, onions and parsnip crops,” says Target Set general manager Charlie Baker.
“We are currently making some subtle changes to the hood mountings to allow for lateral movement so each unit can centralise over a bed,” he says. “And the addition of parallel linkages with spring tensioners on the depth wheels will also help the unit to find its optimum working height.”
Kverneland won the award for best new product or innovation in the mechanical crop equipment category, for its IsoBus equipped i-Plough.
IsoBus lets operators input plough settings and depth into the control terminal, so the plough delivers and maintains perfect furrows on every pass.
“Since winning the award, we have been over-whelmed with the level of interest from potential customers looking to improve the finish of their ploughing,” says Kverneland product manager Adam Burt.
“What we’ve found is that the plough’s sophistication lets operators concentrate on getting the tractor from one side of the field to the other, while the plough takes care of soil inversion,” he adds. “And in less than ideal conditions, it makes ploughing much less stressful, and still leaves a fantastic finish.”
While the purists might suggest the i-Plough has dumbed down ploughing, in practice, it is adaptable enough to put near-perfect furrows within reach of less experienced operators, while letting more experienced operators enjoy a consistently higher quality finish for seedbed preparation.
Bryce Suma won best new product or innovation in the mechanical livestock production equipment category, for its hydraulic rock spike engagement system on its post drivers.
Previously, the rock spike attachment needed to be swung into place by hand, and was identified by its creator, Jock Bryce, as an area where more productivity could be gained.
“It is a further development of the post driver’s manual system,” explains Jock Bryce. “With the addition of hydraulic engagement, we’ve made the process faster, safer and simpler - typically cycle times are up to 95 per cent quicker than manual systems.
“The holder for the rock spike also allows you to fit a shale buster, hole puncher, or square spike for example. We are very pleased with it, and so are our customers.”
It is the third time Mr Bryce has won an award at Lamma in the last 10 years, highlighting his commitment to making life safer and more efficient for customers.
Vicon won the award for best new product or innovation in the technological category, for its FastBale - a non-stop round baler/wrapper combination based on a fixed chamber round baler.
The non-stop round baling and wrapping 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.
Available in limited numbers for the 2017 grass season, FastBale has been touring the UK on an extensive demonstration programme, giving potential customers the opportunity to see how its productivity and efficiency gains can boost output.
“We are very pleased with the level of performance FastBale has achieved this season and also with the positive feedback from those who have seen it at work,” explains Vicon sales manager David Furber. “With no need to stop baling while net wrap and bale transfer take place, FastBale highlights just how much time can be saved.”
The IAgrE Ivel environmental award for best new product or innovation was presented to Poclain Hydraulics for two new high performance, high-efficiency hydraulic motors.
It took its existing MHP20 and MHP27 motors and re-engineered oil galleries, distribution and flow to reduce pressure losses and improve overall performance by about 25 per cent, says the firm.
“MHP is part of a new generation of high performance motors, pumps and valves, along with our new ECU and smart drive systems,” says Poclain sales engineer Neal Armiger. “We have continued to build on these developments to supply what our customers have been asking for.”
As an OEM supplier to machinery manufacturers, Poclain Hydraulics’ new motors mean greater performance and efficiency for end users. For the MHP range, it means improved performance for self-propelled sprayers and heavy duty forklift trucks.
The IAgrE health and safety award was awarded to Trakjak – an innovative workshop device which attaches to the tractor’s lift arms to raise the rear wheels clear of the ground.
With rear wheels removed, Trakjak’s own solid wheels enable the tractor to be slowly maneuvered, with four-wheel drive engaged, from workshop to wash bay, and vice-versa.
“This makes it easy to clean a tractor ahead of a strip-down or service,” says inventor and creator Pauric Fay. “But more importantly, Trakjak delivers tangible health and safety benefits that avoid having to use blocks of wood.
“There is no more guess work when jacking up a tractor.”
With over 130 now sold, Mr Fay is currently working on adding a third wheel, but located at the back of the Trakjak.
“Customers are now asking for an easier way to move the Trakjak to the tractor, instead of moving the tractor to the Trakjak,” he says.
The two-wheeled design is often moved using a pallet truck or similar, when the tractor cannot be maneuvered.
Do you have a new product or innovation which you think could win a Lamma Award? If so, it is time to get your entry in.
For the Farmers Guardian award, which is also open to non-exhibitors, go to www.lammashow.com/FGinnovationaward/
For all other categories, go to www.lammashow.com/innovationawards/
Applications must be received by December 31, 2016, terms and conditions apply.