An easy solution to feeding out fodder off the back of a ute has earnt a southern NSW farmer the inaugural Henty Agri-Innovators Award.
Girral farmer Pat Daniher showcased his hay and silage feeder at the Henty Machinery Field Days after fine-tuning it during months of feeding sheep on his own farm.
While using a home exercise treadmill, Mr Daniher came up with the idea of adapting the concept into a conveyer belt feeder.
Mr Daniher’s invention was up against a pivoting post-hole shovel from Dederang farmer Stephen Quast, a star picket post straightener from Allan Hilder, of Burcher, NSW, and a slip-on fencing tray from Peter Kelly, Rugby, NSW.
Barry Bennett, Barooga, entered a dual way gate stopper, modern ATV shovel holder, and front-end loader three point linkage lifter.
Sam Turnbull, Wagga Wagga, impressed judges and the crowd with his Hammerhead rock crusher.
The entries had to meet the criteria of having a practical on-farm application, be based on an original idea of the entrant and not be in full scale production at the time entry.
The award was judged by HMFD Co-operative members Nigel Scheetz, Culcairn, Kerry Pietsch, Pleasant Hills and Joshua Maher, Holbrook.
Mr Scheetz said the winning entry was O H & S friendly, affordable and could be used by people of all ages and skill.
He said it had applications in the horticultural industry spreading manure and compost.
“It was easy to detach from the vehicle and place on a trailer, it was well made, had longevity and simple mechanics.’’
Mr Scheetz said the award attracted a vast amount of interest from a broad spectrum of agriculture.
“It was good to see the farming community still has ingenuity and good ideas,’’ he said.
Pat Daniher was thrilled to win and said feedback had been positive.
“People come to the field days to look at something different so I hope I contributed to that,’’ he said.
Mr Daniher has enjoyed talking to field day visitors.
“Everyone has a story and you can always learn something,’’ he said.
“The farm inventors was always the first thing I looked at over the last 10-15 years.
“You see something and think I can give that a go.
“Between the other entrants, Allan and Barry, the have put in 20 different inventions over the last 15 or 20 years, while Peter Kelly’s father invented the Kelly pipe bender, so competition was high.’’
The remote controlled Daniher Belt Feeder is designed to fit on the back of a trayback ute and capable of handling large square hay or silage bales.
The belt feeder is remotely controlled from within the ute cab, turning feeding-out into a one person operation.
The belt is operated by a boat winch at variable speeds to drop hay either three to four metres apart, or further to accommodate shy feeders.