One Gold, six Silver and five Certificates of Commendations have been awarded by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) in its annual Technical Innovation Awards, usually part of the Royal Highland Show.

Its longest standing industry accolades are rewards for innovation and development within the agricultural sector and are a highly respected award.

This year judging took place virtually, but winners were featured as part of the Royal Highland Showcase, with a formal award ceremony planned for the 2022 Royal Highland Show.

Gold awards are presented to previous Silver award winners for continuous outstanding merit. This year, Calibrate earned Gold for its heat pump heat/chill 6mW system. This grain drying system means users can enjoy a ‘hands-off’ heat pump solution.

A bespoke controller operates the grain dryer via a cloud-based system, enabling Calibrate to monitor all aspects of the process and tariff generation meters online.

Graintek UK were awarded Silver for their 'Baby Portable Grain Dryer'. Designed to be the smallest portable grain dryer, it dries using continuous, or batch mode at the flick of a switch and can run from a 16amp single phase.

It uses a single leg elevator running in continuous mode to fill and dry at the same time, cutting the cost of power and equipment required. It is a 50% full-scale size of its 9 tph bigger brother.

Also earning Silver was Kubota for its M7003 Premium KVT tractor and the BV Series TIM round baler. Kubota's TIM (tractor implement management) is a cross-product and cross-manufacturer ISOBUS solution for the agricultural machinery industry, to control attached implement functions.

Kubota is the first manufacturer to receive the renowned AEF certification for a tractor/implement combination and the system reduces driver fatigue, while increasing comfort and efficiency.

Massey Ferguson also impressed the judges, winning Silver for its MF 8S Tractor. Built from a blank canvas using a ‘Voice of the Customer’ study, key feedback underlined the need for comfort, ease of use, value for money, excellent reliability, intuitive and convenient controls, efficiency transmitting maximum power to the ground, 100% connectivity and the ability to work with the most demanding implements.

At its heart, the Dyna E-Power dual clutch technology and its stepless shifting, raises comfort and puts maximum power to the ground, leading to the best fuel efficiency in its class.

Safe Forestry, by Safe Worksite, also earned a Silver for the Safe Forestry App, an app supported by a desktop system designed to show competence and compliance whilst at work in the forestry industry. This focusses on Health and Safety, ensuring that all risk assessments and documentation such as training and maintenance of equipment is in one place and up to date.

It is based on industry best practice and customisable to the tasks undertaken. There are plans to roll this out to the agricultural industry next.

Silver also went to the Small Robot Company for its end-to-end per plant farming technology, which delivers per plant weeding – a world first. One robot, Tom, scans fields for weeds, which are processed and detected by Wilma, and artificial intelligence advice engine which devises a weed treatment plan. Then a second robot, Dick, is activated to go to the same spot, ID the weed and kill it.

Benefits include cutting chemicals and emissions by up to 95% and delivery of net zero targets.

Smart Farmer was also presented with a Silver for its Smart Farmer App, a simple user-friendly cloud-based software system and mobile app specifically designed for agriculture. It records editable daily machinery safety checks, sharing machinery issues between operators on farm, logging usage hours and service notifications.

Earning a Commendation was 5|Agri for Agri-Ignite, a farm business software for farmers and agricultural consultants. This cloud-based software programme enables farmers and their consultants to make decisions based on real time data.

It is fully integrated with Xero accounting software, undertakes livestock movements for BCMS and ScotEID and records medicine compliance, and has been amended to provide an online IACS portal.

Also awarded a Commendation was McHale for its Orbital bale wrapper. It's unique feature uses the proven vertical wrapping ring carried over from the successful McHale Fusion but transforms it into a high speed and high end trailed wrapping machine.

Its ability to pick up one bale whilst wrapping another and carry on down the field to the next bale, offers a very fast and efficient method of bale wrapping.

Another Commendation was earned by SmartRural for the Smart Rural App. This uses data of readily available sensors across different farm types, to generate information that helps farmers work smarter; make their businesses more profitable and sustainable; and aid them on the road to net zero.

Spread-a-Bale were also presented with a Commendation for its HD and XL machines. The HD works for hard, high density round and rectangular bales and the XL for two round bales or extra long rectangular bales. The options contribute to Spread-a-Bale enabling farmers to make further reductions in spreading time and labour and straw savings of between 30% to 50%.

Finally, UBCO Bikes UK received a Commendation for the UBCO 2 x 2, the world’s first electrically powered two-wheel-drive utility bike built specifically with agricultural users in mind.

Its unique design comprises of encased motors within both wheels powered by 3.1kW battery. It has no chain or belt to be damaged in our working environments and is a low maintenance machine. Designed and engineered in New Zealand, it was initially made to offer a safe, sustainable alternative to farm transport replacing more dangerous options powered by internal combustion engines.

Commenting on the awards, RHASS' chief steward of technical innovation, Christo Shepherd, said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to the winning entries of the Technical Innovation Awards this year. This year’s entries were exciting examples of the innovative work going on within the agri-tech industry, and especially inspiring were the number of software solutions entered this year.”

Gary McConnell, Northern England and Scotland area sales manager for McHale, commented: “We are delighted to be chosen for a Commendation for our McHale Orbital high speed round bale wrapper. It is much appreciated for such a prestigious award to recognise our efforts and innovation for this high output machine, particularly in a year when the show is unable to run as normal. We look forward to the return of the Royal Highland Show in 2022, meeting all our new and existing customers and receiving this award in person from the judges.”