THERE HAVE been two Gold, six Silver and five Certificates of Commendations awarded by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) in its Technical Innovation Awards.

The awards, which have gone ahead despite Covid-19 restrictions, are one of the few physical survivors of the show which was cancelled earlier this year. These awards are part of the RHASS’ longest standing industry accolades, showcasing and rewarding innovation and development within the sector.

This year, applicants were invited to enter online with judging taking place virtually, attracting a record-breaking number of entries. A formal awards ceremony will take place at Ingliston House at the 2021 Royal Highland Show.

Gold awards are presented to previous Silver winners for continuous outstanding merit.

This year, Lambert and Dyson's Gold was earned for the Landy PTO Hot Water Pressure Washer. Operating at up to 3000psi/200bar with a throughput of up to 30 litres of water per minute, this pto-driven washer also has a 12v burner system which can heat water up to 90°C.

Designed to run on either the front, or rear linkage and deriving all its power from the tractor, it needs only a supply of water and can be used in most situations that demand heavy cleaning.

Limagrain UK also hits Gold for its winter wheat breeding programme, in recognition of the innovative methods it has adopted. Its breeding team has produced varieties for growers with enhanced agronomical characteristics and market opportunities and have maintained their reputation for producing successful varieties for Scotland.

Earning a Silver this year is Herd Advance, for its Herd Advance Stockman. This was invented and designed from the ground up by beef farmer, Murdoch Duncan, East Lediken, Insch, and his partner Jilly Grant, and brings together practical hardware and precision data software. Paired with its cutting-edge app, farmers can real-time monitor statistics and status of their herd on-the-go from a smartphone.

Driven by the animals’ need to drink several times a day, it allows for simultaneously recording the animal’s weight, water intake and body temperature via thermal imaging. Crucially, the Stockman allows the user to automatically sort animals without the need for handling.

Lely also impressed the judges, winning Silver for its Discovery Collector 120. This is specifically designed for barns with solid floors and takes a revolutionary diverse approach when compared to traditional manure scrapers.

The Collector does not push manure, but vacuums it, making the build-up of manure a thing of the past. This not only makes for a cleaner floor, but ensures cows' hooves remain cleaner.

Murray Machinery, of Ellon, earned a Silver for its gravel road grader, which was designed to reinstate gravel roads that had fallen into a state of disrepair. It has undergone a major upgrade, with the addition of hydraulically operated ripper teeth, a hydraulically operated tilting frame and the addition of a rear packer roller.

The grader can now able to carry out four functions using the same machine. In utilising existing stone, great savings can be made on time, effort and the money spent on maintaining gravel roads.

Presented with a Silver this year was Malcolm Woods' Peel Tech, from The Woodlands, Hatchbank, Kinross, for its filtration system for potato processing units. It is unique in that it can filter to Food Waste Act Section 48 regulations, capturing excess potato peel and starch, plus the recent addition of a UV system means users can recycle almost all the water used, giving around a 94% efficiency in the production process.

It is used by chip shops, farmers, processors, sewage works and recycling plants to reduce waste caused by peel and vegetable starch.

Polaris Britain get Silver for the Polaris Ranger XP1000 ABS – the world’s first UTV/SXS utility vehicle to combine an anti-lock braking system with active descent control. This takes safety to a new level, both eliminating run-away and allowing safe, controlled braking, even in the most extreme situations.

The final Silver was earned by Pottinger for its Impress round baler. Its innovative new features mean that it has a low power requirement thanks to the patented LIFTUP Rotor technology where the crop passes over the feed rotor rather than the traditional route of underneath.

A Commendation was presented to Case IH this year for the Magnum AFS Connect tractor, the seventh generation of this flagship tractor, designed to enable both operators and owners to manage farming operations with new levels of precision.

Also awarded a Commendation was Farmdata – a division of Landmark Systems – for the Cattledata mobile app, which was developed to enable cattle keepers to have all the information on their animals at their fingertips. This requires no internet connection as all data is held on the phone or tablet. Breeding data, calvings, treatments, movements, weighings and other actions can be entered via the phone.

Another Commendation was earned by Senesino for its Numnuts tail docking and castration system. This provides targeted pain relief in an easy to use ring applicator, combined with an injector that dispenses NumOcaine local anaesthetic along with a standard rubber ring.

Designed by Scotsman, Ewan MacPherson, in conjunction with scientists at Moredun Research Institute, this is highly welfare friendly and has taken almost a decade to develop. Widely used in Australia, it is awaiting an agreement with the makers of as licensed pain relief manufacturer and should be available by next lambing time.

Vicon also receive a Commendation for the Vicon Extra 700 range of mower conditioners. These are powerful machines with superb ground tracking thanks to the innovative QuattroLink suspension concept.

Finally, Welsh Shearing Equipment also received a Commendation for its Shearcordless MK2 animal clipper. This is comparable in weight to a standard shearing handpiece but is well-balanced due to the ergonomically designed main housing, battery and clipper head. The interchangeable sheep head can be easily switched for a horse or cattle type.

RHASS chief steward of technical innovation, Christo Shepherd, said: “The Technical Innovation Awards are a highly influential accolade that promote new ideas as well as acknowledging the work and commitment necessary to develop new products.

“The benefits to winning for businesses are significant and I am delighted that we had such a strong selection of entries to choose from this year. I would like to extend my congratulations to the winning entries.”