Agricultural machinery manufacturers, farm inventors, backyard tinkerers and students are urged to enter their innovative ideas for the three major awards at the 2018 Henty Machinery Field Days.
The awards, the Henty Machine of the Year, the Agri-Innovators Award and the Best Australian Designed and Manufactured Machine, are among the most prestigious on the nation’s field day circuit.
In the Agri-Innovators Award, the entries must meet the criteria of having a practical on-farm application, be based on an original idea of the entrant and not be in full-scale production at the time entry.
Last year’s entries ranged from a slip tie and strap grip to a poly spinner, ute hay bale lifter and non-return irrigation valve from farmers in southern NSW and Victoria.
The 2017 winner was Barry Bennett, of Barooga, NSW, with his Slip Tie, which stops any movement by the spacer strap and secures fuel tanks or hay rolls on utes and trailers.
HMFD chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the Agri-Innovators Award was aimed at tertiary and university students, farmers, backyard tinkerers and innovators.
“Entries can be any agribusiness invention, ranging from a mobile phone app or computer software program to the largest tillage machinery,’’ Mrs Anderson said.
“This year’s entrants will receive exposure to the agricultural market place and the opportunity to network with potential manufacturers.’’
Entries at the cutting edge of agricultural technology will also line up before the judges in the coveted Henty Machine of the Year Award.
Announced on the opening day, this “farmers’ choice’’ award is presented to the most outstanding new piece of agricultural machinery exhibited at the Henty Machinery Field Days.
It is judged by an independent panel of regional primary producers.
In many cases the machine has gone on to become a standard piece of equipment on farms.
Judging criteria includes the machine’s purpose and suitability, scope of application, construction, ease of maintenance and service, ease of operation and adjustment, availability of parts and overall value for money.
Last year, the award drew 18 entries with one of the widest drills on the market, the 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill, entered by Bourgault, impressing judges to take out the award.
Highly commended was the Coolamon All Rounder multi-purpose chaser bin entered by Bruce and Heath Hutcheon, Coolamon Chaser Bins, Coolamon, NSW.
HMFD director Nigel Scheetz said the award was open to all machines on site released into the Australian market in the previous 12 months.
A South Australian designed and manufactured multi-purpose tracking trailer won the Greater Hume Shire Award at last year’s field days.
Developed to transport header combs, the Kelly Tracking Trailer can be used throughout the year for carrying multiple liquid fertiliser, chemical shuttles, hay and a wide range of header fronts.
The award recognises the best new Australian designed and built agricultural machine and was judged by a panel of independent judges.
For entry forms for the three categories, contact the HMFD office on 0269 293 305 or email [email protected]