Farmers Weekly’s annual Inventions Competition is open for entries.

We are looking for anything that makes life easier on the farm, whether it is a machine that is completely new from top to bottom, or an existing piece of kit that has been adapted in the workshop to make it more useful.

As ever, there are cash prizes on offer for the winners and runners-up in each of the three categories, so it doesn’t have to be a super-duper mix of engines, pumps, pulleys and sprockets to take first place.

What category is my machine?

Simple machines are those that took a day or so to knock together but still help save you time or money on the farm.

Good examples from previous years include ATV attachments or fencing machines.

Intermediate-level inventions include more complicated components such as a basic hydraulic or electrical system – we’re talking about simple cultivators or oil-powered straw spreaders.

Complex-grade entries will have probably taken weeks or months to plan and build, and will make use of an engine or complicated combination of electrics and hydraulics.

See also: In pictures: Farm Inventions 2016 complex category

Who is eligible to enter?

Farmers, contractors, farm managers and workers are all welcome.

What if I’ve entered my design in other competitions in the past?

Don’t worry, that won’t exclude you.

Why should I enter?

The competition works only if readers tell us about their creations, so if you love reading about farm inventions and have a few workshop-built items of your own on the home farm then get in touch.

What are the prizes?

The winner of each of the three categories gets £400, while the runners-up each get £100.

Will you feature the winners?

Our pick of this year’s best inventions will be featured in Farmers Weekly and online.

Many of the machines that you see on the stands at shows such as Lamma and Cereals start life in the farm workshop, so it’s a great opportunity to get your ideas in the shop window – whether you want to build it and sell it yourself or get someone else to take on the manufacturing job.

How do I enter?

Just send some brief details about how the machine works, how you made it and what you use it for to oliver.mark@rbi.co.uk.

You will also need to attach a couple of high-resolution pictures, a few brief details about how and why you made it, and a contact phone number so that we can get in touch.

Alternatively, you can post your entry to Oliver Mark, Farmers Weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS.

How long have I got?

The closing date is 29 Sept 2017.

Who won last year?

Complex category – Mark Waggett’s pivot-steer loader

Loader

Intermediate category – Oliver Williams’s combine tank auger

Combine tank auger

Simple category – David Powell’s straw bale toppers

Bale topper