14 June 2002



Technical innovation in

machinery-making will be

rewarded at the Highland

THE Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland has awarded one gold medal, five silver and two certificates of commendation under its New Implements Award Scheme.

The scheme rewards technical innovation in the design and manufacture of farm machinery and equipment. The 2002 awards offer ways to improve efficiency and includes awards to products used in the livestock industry, the potato and cropping sectors. There are also awards to farmer inventors.

Award-winning machinery will be on display at the Royal Highland Show in an area next to awards sponsor NatWest Banks stand on Avenue 7.

Adam Leggat of Highland Farm Equipment, Chapel Home Farm, Kirkaldy, scooped two awards – a gold and a silver.

The gold medal winning Highland ATV ground drive snack feeder has been designed to meet the trend for the use of automatic snack feeders as an alternative to feeding outside stock from troughs.

Snack feeders have been shown not only to reduce feed wastage, but also to stem bullying at feeding time and to reduce foetal losses in sheep.

Highlands snack feeder comes in a range of models to suit the numbers of stock involved and can be filled from bags or a bulk hopper.

Barley, pencils, cobs, rolls, beet pulp and potatoes have all been dispensed successfully from the machine, which has been proven in all types of terrain and is suitable for feeding sheep, cattle, goats, deer and pigs.

Mr Leggats silver medal was awarded for the Highland field ranger cow and calf catching pen.

This fully mobile pen, on its own four wheels, is pushed by any available vehicle across a field with its front gate open until the animal is in the pen. A rope pull catch then closes the gates. The pen includes a crush with an auto yoke to allow calving or treatment without the farmer or worker being put in any danger.

A silver medal was also awarded to Hamish Wilson, Chapelpark, Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire, for his auto-reset subsoiler/Autocast rape seeder that gives true one-pass sub-soiling and sowing.

In addition to saving time and reducing establishment costs, the machine eliminates compaction and allows soil moisture to be conserved.

It operates to a depth of 250-300mm (10-12in) straight into the stubble and broadcasts OSR seed behind the five legs. The action of the rear packer roller and subsequent Cambridge rolling is enough to ensure adequate seed-to-soil contact.

Single chassis

Machinery manufacturer Grimme took a silver medal for the GL32B two row potato planter 2002.

This planter incorporates a single chassis construction with the facility to enhance performance with attachments to suit the varying conditions into which potatoes are planted.

Hydraulic steering, automatic depth control via ultrasonic sensor and hydraulic pressure adjustment of the shaping hood are all new additions.

The Rancher cattle restrainer won a silver medal for Rancher Livestock Equipment, Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway.

The product has already won the John Logie Baird award for innovation and it is designed to improve operator safety when essential tasks are being performed on cattle being held in a crate.

The restrainer puts pressure on the back of the animal, preventing it from kicking out. It does not interfere with clipping operations and will adapt to fit most makes of cattle crate.

Feeding livestock

Silver also went to Northern Ireland firm Samuel J Wylie (Engineering), from Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, for its auto-shear bucket for feeding livestock.

Based on the Wylie shear grab, the new machine has the added benefit of being able to handle fine cereal and powder or granules.

Normally, when feeding cattle, silage is cut from the clamp with the shear grab, or equivalent, and then a separate bucket is used to handle fine and loose material.

According to the judges, the auto-shear bucket simplifies things by handling both operations.

Certificates of Commendation were awarded to David Ritchie (Implements) of Forfar for a mobile feed system for cattle, and to Norman F Ogg, West Kinwhirrie, Kirriemuir, for a potato bulker.