Farming: RHS at cutting edge of techno farm invention

Pollock Rope Scraper System

And an artificial intelligence system using “retrainable cameras” and a solar-powered seeder and weeder jostled with more traditional inventions amongst the winners of the event’s Technical Innovation awards.

The longest standing award at the show, which this year celebrates its 200th anniversary, the winners have, over the years, stretched from the brilliantly simple to astonishingly complex implements and pieces of equipment which have been judged to offer a significant step forward for the industry .

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And this year was no different – ​​with a gold award going to Pollock Farm Equipment for their Pollock Rope Scraper System for clearing slurry safely from cattle sheds. The simple but innovative drive system uses a hollow shaft drive unit, fitted with a torque spring and a micro switch for animal safety. By using a rope with 12 strands woven in a particular way it also eliminates stretch to around 40-50m/m in a rope of 100 meters length.

Penderfeed Livestock Equipment, were also presented with a gold award for their Arrowquip Q-Catch 86 Series Squeeze Cattle Crush. The Arrowquip Q-catch 86 series squeeze cattle crush claims to be the quietest crush ever manufactured. This is achieved by using nylon bushes on the hinges and rubber absorbers on the access panel slam bolts along with rubber floor matting. ,

In the silver awards category, Soil Essentials Ltd earned an award for their SKAi smart camera, a re-trainable smart camera solution for agriculture which can use artificial intelligence to detect individual weed species and, interfacing with sprayers, it allows targeted spot treatment rather than requiring field-scale blanket applications of pesticides.

Opico likewise gained Silver for their FarmDroid FD20 the world’s first fully automatic robot that both seeds and mechanically weeds. Solar-powered, it offers pesticide-free weed control with zero fuel bills and a zero-carbon footprint.

With electric vehicles to the fore, Merlo UK Ltd were awarded a Silver for their fully electric eWorker telescopic handler which reduces environmental impact without sacrificing features or operating time.

Gas-power earned New Holland Agriculture a similar award for their T6 Methane Power Tractor which boasts comparable power output to its diesel equivalent, while delivering up to 30% lower running costs and can help reduce on farm vehicle CO2 emissions.

Stewart Agricultural Limited were also awarded silver for their PS 22 29 H Carrot Trailer which is designed to deliver high performance, reduce wastage and operate more safely in the field and on the road.

RHASS Chief Steward of Technical Innovation, Christopher Shepherd welcomed the variety of entries this year from manufacturers who had continued to innovate despite challenging conditions:

“The focus on sustainability is clear this year, reflecting the importance of those working within the agri and rural sectors in place on looking for innovative solutions to reduce their environmental impact,” said Shepherd who added that he looked forward to the presentation ceremony which would include winners from the two previous years as well.

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