Smart Farming Award (runner up)

By Samuel | August 5, 2021

Grounded was the runner-up for the AgriMagic Smart Farming award at the South Island Agricultural Field Days this year, for the GroundTruth lysimeter system. We would like to thank the organisers and sponsors for this important recognition of the value of this product to New Zealand agriculture.

We would also like to congratulate Halter Cow Collars for taking out the Smart Farming Award, with a product that takes ideas that have been discussed in research settings for many years and used on a smaller scale for research purposes, and implements these into a practical, useful and accessible tool for farmers.

The Innovation Award was won by Frizzell for their “Smart Paddock Weigher”, which allows farmers to automatically monitor the weights of cattle in the field on a daily basis.

In many ways, what Halter, Frizzell and Grounded are doing have a lot of similarities. All three products take techniques already used in research settings on a smaller scale, and make them accessible to the wider industry. Leaching losses have long been measured using lysimeters - GroundTruth makes lysimeters cheaper, more practical and more accessible. Livestock have long been monitored with GPS collars for research purposes - Halter makes these accessible to farmers. And livestock have long been monitored regularly using automated weighscales in farmlet research trials - Frizzell has made this technique accessible to the wider industry. None of these systems are completely new, all “build on the shoulders of giants”, taking proven systems and making them available to the wider industry.

The runner-up for the Innovation Award was Stock Ezy, for their flow control gate. This is quite different to the above three high-tech products as it is a true farmer innovation, a fundamentally simple solution to a common problem. In fact, Stock Ezy have in many ways been more inventive than any of the rest of us, as their product is more original, even though it is physically simpler (and easier to repair with a welder).

Congratulations to all involved, and thankyou to AgriMagic for their sponsorship of the Smart Farming award.