THERE’S only one Gold standard award being made in this year’s RHASS Technical Innovation Awards – plus six Silver and three Certificates of Commendations being handed out.

The awards, sponsored by Hillhouse Quarry Group, showcase and reward innovation and development within the agricultural sector and are a highly respected award for manufacturers, distributors, providers and inventors.

The prestigious ‘Gold’ is only presented to previous Silver award winners, which means they have been monitored for continuous outstanding merit.

Gold awards are presented to previous Silver award winners for continuous outstanding merit and this year the only Gold award was presented to Kverneland Group UK, for its Kverneland 2500 i-plough. This is recommended for tractors around 206kW/280hp and has four essential functions that utilise ISOBUS technology – ploughing, transport, marking and connecting. Its hinged headstock means that changing from transport to ploughing positions can be done from the tractor cab, while its innovative aero-profile legs prevent potential blockages when ploughing in high-residue fields.


Presented with a Silver award this year is Can-Am, for their anti-lock braking (ABS) system for ATVs which is manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products. Their ABS system underwent a comprehensive engineering programme that included more than 40,000 kmon a variety of surfaces, including mud, snow, pavement, gravel and dirt. The ATV ABS works with a specially calibrated control unit, which analyses break lever pressure and individual wheel speeds to apply the correct amount of breaking force, using information from the wheel speed sensors to prevent the brakes from locking up in emergency situations.


Case IH Agriculture was too presented with a Silver Award for their Maxxum 145 Multicontroller, which is fitted with the new eight-speed powershift ActiveDrive 8 transmission. The Maxxum produced the best fuel economy for a four-cylinder tractor ever seen in the DLG Powermix tests last year – almost 9.5% below its nearest competitor. The ActiveDrive 8 is suited to power-hungry tasks where maintaining momentum is critical, such as cultivations or operating large mowers, because the clutch pedal is not required to change gear - meaning practically all field operations can be carried out without having to cut power to the wheels.


Also receiving a Silver award this year is Oran Oak Engineering, from Omagh, Co. Tyrone Northern Ireland, for the DipFast enclosed sheep showering unit. DipFast is designed for treatment and control of ecto-parasites on sheep. Mark Kelly and his three sons developed DipFast after they saw the potential of a prototype that Mark had manufactured on his farm for personal use. The system allows for one-person operation, thus reducing labour, and there is minimal contact with the sheep and dip held within. The DipFast unit comes in either static or mobile versions.


Easyfix, from Galway in Ireland, impressed the judges and received a Silver award for their Easyfix Evolve animal feeding system. The Easyfix Evolve optimises cow welfare and performance, with a unique design allowing for maximum feed intake for cows and both safe access and egress for farm workers. It allows for essential head movements in cattle, which encourage natural behaviour, eliminating injuries and marks associated with steel barriers and reducing stress.


Penderfeed Livestock Equipment, from Duns, in the Scottish Borders, received a Silverfor the Arrowquip Q-Catch. Manufactured by Arrowquip of Manitoba, Canada ( This 86 series squeeze cattle crush claims to be the quietest crush ever manufactured - this is achieved by using nylon bushes on the hinges and rubber absorbers on the access panel slam bolts. The heavy-duty rubber floor provides complete silence and sure footing for cattle, while the vet cage squeezes in with the crush so it can be narrowed so that young animals are unable to turn around. The yoke gate handle can be operated from anywhere along the side of the crush, while top and bottom access doors can be opened separately or together to make a full side exit.


A final Silver award for 2019 was awarded to Pollock Farm Equipment in Cumnock, Ayrshire, for their Pollock Rope Scraper System. Housed within a fully galvanised frame, the drive system utilises a hollow shaft gearbox fitted with a torq spring to dampen shock loading and a microswitch to back up the system’s in-built animal overload safety sensor. At the heart of the system is the Pollock Superior Rope, a 12-strand woven rope with a breaking strain of approximately 12,000 kilograms with virtually no stretch. The inverter drive allows for the exclusive use of 3-phase motors, eliminating the need for costly and troublesome single-phase motors.


SIB Services of Maud, Aberdeenshire receive a certificate of commendation for the PEL Agricultural Baler, manufactured by PEL Waste Reduction Equipment of Co. Mayo, Ireland. The balers reduce the volume of waste by 80%, reducing the haulage costs and storage space required for bales. As the bales are so compact, they can be hauled by the farmer as and when appropriate, with the bales able to be stored for up to three years on the farm.


Also receiving a Commendation is TH White Machinery Imports from Devizes, Wiltshire for their Ferris ISX 800 mower – manufactured by Ferris Industries, of New York, USA. Featuring Ferris’ new double-wishbone ‘ForeFront’ suspension, the ISX 800 uses four control rods on the front caster wheels resulting in a smoother, more comfortable ride, precise terrain following and an improved cut. This results in increased operator comfort, reduced risk of HAVS/WBV, less damage to the mower, better quality cut, faster mowing speeds of up to 10mph and cutting up to 5 acres per hour – saving time and money.


Hampton Steel, from Northamptonshire, also received a Commendation for their Versalok® metal post and clip system. It provides a long-term solution for farmers and fencing contractors looking to replace their timber posts with a versatile metal alternative. The system is cost effective, easy to install and store and can also be easily affixed with a metal crank to support the overhang of specific fencing patterns which incorporate a cranked section to the top.


Receiving the final Commendation is Water Fuel Engineering from South Yorkshire, for their HydroGen™ autonomous electrolyser. It reduces emissions and fuel consumption through introducing oxyhydrogen gas (HHO) to conventional vehicles by accelerating the burning process in engines. Real-world results of this process include a reduction in emissions of 80% and a fuel saving of between 14% and 29%. HydroGen™ is the ideal solution for the agricultural community, reducing carbon footprint and fuel costs without the need to replace any existing vehicles.

RHASS Chief Steward of Technical Innovation, Christopher Shepherd said: “As part of our Royal Charter, at RHASS we support and encourage innovation within the agri and rural industry as a key way to ensuring the future of the sector in Scotland. 

“Awarding manufacturers, distributors, providers and inventors, the Technical Innovation Awards are a highly influential accolade providing a respected stage to promote new ideas and acknowledge the work and commitment necessary to develop new products. We’d like to extend a huge congratulations to all of this year’s winners on their outstanding achievement.”

On sponsoring the awards, Hillhouse Quarry Group said “Hillhouse Quarry Group is very proud to sponsor the RHASS Technical Innovation Awards in 2019. The level of innovation and commitment that goes into the award-winning entries is to be commended and is well acknowledged for the quality of entries. Well done to all entries and award winners.”


The Technical Innovation Awards will be presented to winners on Saturday 22nd June at the Royal Highland Show.