21 June 2002

Innovative R&D in the farmyard

Farmers are an inventive breed – they sometimes have

to be, such is the nature of their businesses. The recent

Suffolk show produced its annual crop of new inventions

proving that innovation is not just the domain of the large

manufacturer and its prosperous R&D department

Above: A domestic vacuum cleaner is not just for the carpets, it seems. This one has been incorporated in a design to lift and hold bag labels one at a time. The "Label Mate" is the brainchild of Chris Metson of Ongar, Essex who built it to lift potato sack labels and ease the workload of the bag stitcher.

Left: Birds have a new challenge to face when grazing on valuable crops. The Wheely Scary bird scarer developed by Peter Jordan is fitted with forty reflective surfaces to provide a dazzling display of indiscriminant flashes.

Above: This adapted dumper truck built by Andrew Baker who has a large outdoor pig herd near Ipswich can be fitted with a variety of load platforms to make handling the materials and foodstuffs used on the pig unit more convenient. A large livestock box has also been designed to fit on the tines to make moving livestock around the unit easier.

A demountable hedgecutter unit modified to fit a JCB Fastrac, has been built by Kenneth Hutchinson from Newmarket.

Right: Matthew Wilding and Philip Bowcher take the credit for this shielded ATV sprayer which is designed to minimize the risk of damage to other plants caused by drift from nozzles.