Game-Changing Innovations at the Great Yorkshire Show
High tech agricultural solutions have been celebrated at the 164th Great Yorkshire Show with the presentation of the newly renamed GYS Innovation Award, sponsored by the Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET).
The award, formerly known as the White Rose What’s Next Award, recognises new and innovative products that offer significant improvement and innovative solutions to the farming industry, chosen from agricultural, machinery and farming exhibitors at the Great Yorkshire Show.
Taking the honour this year was Neil Fell of NR Fell, who has invented a mobile, hydraulic sheep dipper that is delivering massive productivity gains whilst improving animal and farmer welfare and reducing the environmental impact of dipping.
Fourth generation farmer Neil, of Nafferton Farm, County Durham first came up with the idea after a trip to a fish and chip shop and a couple of years of back-breaking work as a sheep dipping contractor.
Neil, whose contracting work takes him all over the UK, said: “I was dipping 75,000 sheep a year by conventional plunge dipping and thought there has to be an easier way than this.”
Conventional plunge dipping involves the farmer bending forward over and over as they work through a flock and coming within close proximity of chemicals.
Neil said: “The solution came to me in a fish and chip shop, and I thought, if you can dip chips into the fryer like that, why can’t you do a similar action to dip sheep.”
The result was an invention that has dramatically increased Neil’s throughput of sheep to 500,000 sheep a year. Manufactured by Bimeda, its rapid entrance-exit ramps allow sheep to flow through the unit easily, reducing time, animal stress and the physical input of the farmer. All liquid is retained on the unit to limit the risk of water course pollution.
Announcing the winner, John Lawrence, Chair of the South Yorkshire Network of the IET, said: “The completeness of Neil’s solution was critical. We had a really difficult job judging because of the breadth and depth of the entries, and what we liked was that there were a lot of practical solutions.”
The GYS Innovation Award runners up were a folding bale spike which eliminates danger for road users, farmers and livestock designed by Bainbridge Engineering of Cold Kirby near Thirsk, and Sproxton-based Ag-drive’s all-in-one app for agricultural contractors that streamlines work from start to finish, from field mapping to health and safety checks, timesheets, and invoicing.
The GYS Innovation Award was presented at the Show’s brand-new Innovation Zone which is being hosted by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s Farmer Scientist Network to showcase modern farming technology and the latest agricultural innovations, with a particular focus on animal health and regenerative agriculture.
Other GYS Innovation Award entries, all of which are featured on an Innovation Trail around the Showground, include New Holland’s T6 Methane Tractor, the world’s first ever 100% methane powered production tractor exhibited by Russell’s Group, and Siromer Tractors’ electric tractors which reduce a farm’s carbon footprint and fuel costs.
Lely’s Discovery 120 Collector manure robot cleans solid barn floors; Brian Robinson Machinery Ltd’s lightweight Stoneless ATV Stone Collector excavates stones from fields to a depth of 20cm with minimal impact on soil compaction; and MDL Powerup Ltd’s Super Heavy Duty Executioner Flail Mower is designed with a double-sided headstock, LED lights for easy visibility, adjustable cutting heights, and adaptable terrains.
• The Great Yorkshire Show is England’s premier agricultural event, organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), a registered charity supporting rural Yorkshire.
• YAS supports and promotes the farming industry through health care, business, education and scientific research.
• The Society is supported by its family of businesses including Fodder, Yorkshire Event Centre, Pavilions of Harrogate and the Harrogate Caravan Park as well as events Great Yorkshire Show and Springtime Live.
• Businesses and events held at the Great Yorkshire Showground in 2019 contributed £73.7 million to the economy.
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