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The Agventions created by farmers to make their jobs easier…

Visitors to this weekend’s Tullamore Show can see a little bit of agricultural ingenuity for themselves as the finalists of the 2022 Herdwatch Agventions competition are on display at this year’s show.

The competition, which is running for the third time, was set up with a view to connecting and rewarding farmers who have created innovative solutions to problems on their farm.

Fabien Peyaud from Herdwatch said: “The entries to this year’s Agventions competition exceeded our expectations, with over 20 brilliant inventions and modifications to farm equipment, both big and small.

“The judging panel had a very tough time deciding the shortlist, and we really look forward to announcing the winner at the Tullamore Show on August 14.”

The best Agvention will get a €300 cash prize and will be entered in the National Inventions Competition, which has a prize fund of €3,900, with prizes for the runners-up as well.

Finalists this year include:

Headgate calving assist

Francis and John Barron take on one of the biggest danger areas for stock keepers, with their twist on a traditional calving gate design which, instead of keeping the cow against the wall, creates a safe space around the animal during calving.

“When a cow goes down facing the wall, there is limited room behind the cow to operate a calving jack safely. Our solution was to space the headgate 0.5m from the hinge point,” the pair explained in their entry.

“A swinging gate was fitted to the inner side of the headgate to guide the cow into position, before being fixed in place. These changes greatly improve the ability to deliver a calf safely.”

The result is that it creates a safe workspace at the back of the cow as well as offering increased leverage.

Lime spreader and dispenser

Patrick Coleman’s lime spreader consists of a Vink lime spreader mounted on a wheelbarrow frame, controlled by bicycle brakes.

They say the best ideas are the simple ones. Patrick Coleman’s lime spreader consists of a Vink lime spreader mounted on a wheelbarrow frame, controlled by bicycle brakes.

“We’ve used it for the last 10 years and needed to find an easier way to fill the spreader,” he said.

He cut a blue barrel to the right height to take the lime from underneath a hanging bag and added a sliding chute underneath.

“We can now spread lime in 120 cubicles in about five to seven minutes now, saving a lot of time,” he said.

Tyreshift

Tyreshift is used to help place tires on the silo pit.  A hydraulically powered chain with specially-made teeth grips up to 70 sidewall tires and fits onto standard pallet toes.
Tyreshift is used to help place tires on the silo pit. A hydraulically powered chain with specially-made teeth grips up to 70 sidewall tires and fits onto standard pallet toes.

Albert O’Neill came up with his Action in 2021.

Tyreshift is used to help place tires on the silo pit. A hydraulically powered chain with specially-made teeth grips up to 70 sidewall tires and fits onto standard pallet toes.

Another nifty feature is a tray for transporting a plastic cover up the pit, which is held securely with a rope and catch.

“Covering the pit is now done in half the time, and I have started to sell a few to other farmers as well, with very positive feedback,” Mr O’Neill said.

The Crush Mate

Crush Mate is an animal handling device, designed as an accessory for animal crushes, chutes or races, to immobilize smaller animals.
Crush Mate is an animal handling device, designed as an accessory for animal crushes, chutes or races, to immobilize smaller animals.

Seamus Dunne’s invention ‘Crush Mate’ is an animal handling device, designed as an accessory for animal crushes, chutes or races, to immobilize smaller animals.

“When fixed on the inside of the unit, it is used to narrow the crush size and restrict the movement of the animal. It can fit to size with its adjustable linkages,” Mr Dunne said.

“Freeze branding, castrating and many more works can now be done more efficiently for the animal and user.

“It is also very beneficial in the training of heifers in robotic milking systems.”

Post driver with front loader linkage

Brendan O'Connell has come up with a bracket to fit a post driver to a front loader.
Brendan O’Connell has come up with a bracket to fit a post driver to a front loader.

Brendan O’Connell has come up with a bracket to fit a post driver to a front loader.

“It’s a much safer way of driving posts,” he said. “The person driving the loader is facing the man on the ground at all times, which makes it easier to communicate.”

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