Your clever idea could win cash prizes worth a total of £1,500, plus a free two-day trip to the giant Agritechnica machinery show in Germany, explains David Cousins.

If you’ve designed a machine or piece of equipment that saves you time, money or hassle, you should definitely enter our 2011 Farmers Weekly farm inventions competition.

folding buckrakeIt doesn’t have to be an all-singing, all-dancing invention either. Small things that may only have taken an hour or two to put together are perfectly valid. So, too, are bigger designs.

As in previous years, we’re dividing the entries into three categories.

• Simple machines are those that took less than half a day to put together.

• Intermediate ones are more complicated and may have simple hydraulics or electrics on them.

• Complex ones would have taken several days to design and make and often involve an engine and more complicated electrics or hydraulics.


Who is the competition open to?

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

What do I need to provide?

• Just email whatever information, photographs or diagrams you have available. Please send pictures in as high-res form as possible.

How long have I got?

• Until Friday 26 August 2011

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

• Don’t worry – that won’t exclude you from this competition.

What about patents?

• If you think you may want to patent the device, put the words “Patent Application Likely” at the top of the email. If you want to know more, check out the Patent Office’s website

What are the prizes?

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

One overall winner will also win a three-day trip to the Agritechnica farm machinery show in Hanover, Germany, from 14-16 November. The trip, worth more than £500, includes flights, accommodation and event entry for two people.

Will you be featuring the winners?

• Yes, all six winning inventions will be featured in the magazine and on FWi, so if you want a potential manufacturer to see what you have on offer, this is a good way of doing it.

• Look at the winning designs from 2010 to get an idea of what we’re after.

How do I enter?

• Email details of what the machine is, how it works and how it benefits the farm or business to david.cousins@rbi.co.uk. Please send a couple of hi-res pictures and your mobile phone number.


What is Agritechnica?

• Agritechnica takes place from 13-19 November 2011 in Hanover, Germany. The first two dates are higher-price preview days.

• The last show (in 2009) attracted 2,300 exhibitors and 355,000 visitors. This year’s is expected to be even bigger this year.

• Roughly half the exhibitors come from Germany. European, US and Far East firms are well represented.

• For more details, go to the Agritechnica website. Hotels and flights get booked up in advance so, if you plan to visit you should act promptly.