The 48th annual World Ag Expo opens today in Tulare, California, and will showcase some of the industry’s most ambitious game changers. Running until February 12, the expo will welcome thousands of attendees from around the globe and feature more than 40 seminars, a “Farmers’ Lunch” event, and over 1,400 exhibitions.
World Ag Expo also announced the winners of its Top-10 New Products competition, and by looking over the results, it’s clear that farm precision is the primary motivator for Ag innovation right now. From irrigation systems to shovels to pest control, these companies have developed farming products geared towards efficiency and sustainability. Here’s what we dug up about the 10 winners:
Nikkel Iron Works Corp. — Tule River Nut Crowder (California)
The Tule River Nut Crowder is a product that aims to maximize the output potential of nut orchards. As described on the company site, the Nut Crowder effectively collects nuts at the end of crop rows that were spilled and scattered during harvesting. The result is less manual labor, and less wasted produce.
Deep Root Irrigation — DRI System (California)
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DRI System, a precision watering package, may help farmers save up to 50 percent of water resources in comparison to drip systems, according to the Deep Root Irrigation site. The DRI hardware is available in four sizes—the smallest is best suited for potted plants and small gardens, and the largest is equipped to irrigate orchards.
Simple Pump — Simple Pump Solar Package (Nevada)
Self-proclaimed as a maker of the “the modern water well pump,” Simple Pump has developed a solar pump system that not only requires less effort than a hand pump, but is more cost effective and economically responsible. Another perk? Owners are eligible for a Renewable Energy Tax Credit of 30 percent, which includes the total cost of the system as well as the installation fee.
DeLaval — DeLaval BCS System (Sweden)
The DeLaval BCS (body conditioning scoring) system is a software and hardware kit that provides dairy farmers with daily data on each individual cow in a herd. It works like this: a mounted camera takes a 3D image of a cow during milking, focusing on the animal’s rump area. The system sends the body condition “score” to a data platform, and farmers can then make informed decisions about feeding based on that information. Healthier cows, improved milk production.
Curry ToolWorks Corp. — Earth Talon Shovel (Arizona)
Earth Talon has a unique pointed-edge design said to make digging much easier. The shovel is available in three varieties—large fiberglass, short handle, and large wooden—with each intended for multipurpose gardening use.
MoleCat — MoleCat Unit (Oregon)
Out of 2015’s winners, the MoleCat Unit is definitely the most explosive. This product claims to offer a dependable and chemical free solution to pest control (including snakes, rats, and you guessed it, moles) by exterminating crop intruders “instantly, safely, and humanely.” How? With targeted blasts directed at underground burrows.
PolyExcel — Polydress O2 Barrier 2-in-1 (Utah)
This protective cover works to preserve silage (stored pasture grass used to feed cattle and sheep) by preventing oxidation and slowing down the fermentation process. PolyExcel’s site lists an increase in milk yields, improved carbon footprint, and easy handling as some of the expected benefits of the product.
GEA Farm Technologies — DairyProQ (Germany)
The robots are coming…and with DairyProQ, it looks they’ll be really good at milking cows. Developed to boost the speed and hygiene of rotary milking systems, DairyProQ uses robotic arms to sterilize, stimulate, and milk cows comfortably. And it’s likely that dairy farmers won’t be the only ones benefiting from this product—the milking cups are also designed to maximize udder health.
Dairy Records Management Systems — Vet Check Maxx (North Carolina)
Vet Check Maxx could help dairy farmers prepare for vet trips by storing organized health stats on each individual cow. As DRMS describes it, the Android app provides all the important “cowside” information on one easy-to-access screen, so farmers can view and enter data with the swipe of a finger.
Macro Plastics — Hybrid Shipper (California)
Macro Plastics has developed plastic containers for shipping fruits and vegetables, which may act, according to the website, as safer and more economical alternative to wooden bins. Made from FDA-approved resin, this container is stackable, long lasting, and weighs less than the standard wooden variety.
FEATURED IMAGE: World Ag Expo