Entries at the cutting edge of agricultural technology will line up before the judges in the prestigious Henty Machine of the Year Award.
Announced on the opening day, this “farmers’ choice’’ award is presented to the most outstanding new piece of agricultural machinery exhibited at the Henty Machinery Field Days.
It is judged by an independent panel of regional primary producers.
In many cases the machine has gone on to become a standard piece of equipment on farms.
Judging criteria includes the machine’s purpose and suitability, scope of application, construction, ease of maintenance and service, ease of operation and adjustment, availability of parts and overall value for money.
This year, entries range from an innovative round bale feed out system and offset slasher to deep ripper from Western Australia, and one of the widest seed drills in the world from Canada, the 3420 PHD Paralink.
Last year, the award drew 24 entries with the innovative sheep handling system, Back Up Charlie, entered by Charlie and Tana Webb, Urana, NSW, impressing judges with its design and manufacture.
Highly commended was the Miller Nitro 6365 self-propelled sprayer with Spray-Air ™ Technology, from McIntosh Distribution, Redcliffe, WA.
HMFD director Nigel Scheetz said the award was open to all machines on site released into the Australian market in the previous 12 months.
“A win at Henty gives the entrant valuable exposure for their product,’’ Mr Scheetz said.
An additional accolade is the Greater Hume Shire Award for the best new Australian designed and manufactured machine.
It is judged and presented on the final day of the field days. Last year it was won by the Landaco Maxispread TS12000, from Landaco, Wagga.
Nominations are made by the Henty Machinery Field Days Co-operative members who unload the machines – in the vein of the Archibald Prize packer’s award.
Judges then visit each nominated company during the field days.
Last year’s winner Charlie Webb said it was a great thrill to win the award, and the following 12 months had been a steep learning curve in marketing and export.
He said the award was more about innovation than modification.
“If you do have a good idea and you think it’s worth running with, make sure you protect it first, and then have a go,’’ Mr Webb said.
“We started off doing this to make life easier at home and then people starting asking us about it.’’
Following on from the award win at Henty, the family had calls from the UK, Canada, South Africa, Ireland and the US.
They visited the New Zealand National Agricultural Field Days to speak to manufacturers and are following the Australian field day circuit this year with Back Up Charlie.
Machine of the Year entries include:
Sonic 10,000 litre sprayer – Sonic Boomsprays
AL926FT telescopic loader – Active Machinery
Compact PSS – Horwood Bagshaw
3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill – Bourgault
Woods Offset slasher – Tisca
Horsch Focus TD – Muddy River Ag
HaySpin Bale Spinner – Himac Attachments
Depth Charger – Rocks Gone
Nyrex bin – Trufab Global
Aerodrone MR4/MR6 – Bask Aerospace
Kelly Tracking Trailer – Kelly Engineering
Everun ER20 wheel loader – Everun Australia
Keenan VA-S30 Vertical auger with Intouch technology – Alltech Oceania
Kuhn Axcent 100.1 trailed fertiliser spreader – Kuhn Farm Machinery
Serca Fence Strainer – Rural Innovations
Remote livestock handling equipment – National Stockyards
Highline Bale Pro – Beulah Machinery
Pillar Disc Drill – Beulah Machinery
Coolamon All Rounder – Coolamon Chaser Bins
Tornado Harvester Air Flow System – Horsham Hydraulics