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Industry innovations shine in crocodile pit

Industry innovations shine in crocodile pit

From biodegradable solutions for covering silage to blankets for keeping cows warm, inventions and innovative services designed for the agricultural sector were revealed in the annual Crocodile Pit competition last month.

Year 13 Agribusiness students presented their ideas to a panel of judges – the final stage of the competition, which is run similar to a Dragon’s Den.

The judging panel consisted of industry experts Bob Weir, Campbell Parker, Carla Muller, Elaine Cook, Geoff Laurent, Nick Dromgool and Tony Egan.

The winning team, ‘Gudgeon Guard’, made up of Edward Sclater, Thomas Nicholson, Spencer Clayton-Greene and Jarrod Mealings, produced a device that fits over a gate gudgeon to help lift it off the ground.

“The gudgeon extension is good for farmers of dry stock and dairy who experience a lot of problems with gates that slump or scrape across the ground due to wear and tear,” says Thomas.

“Rather than having to replace the entire gate system, these guards can be fitted over the top of each gudgeon to help lift the gate up and get it swinging properly again.”

The group received a $400 cash prize.

Second place went to ‘Grassfed NZ’, made up of Kenzie Coffin, Sophie Egan, Christa Brandt, Briana Cardon and Anahia Noble, who designed an auditing service for farmers to guarantee they are raising grass-fed cattle.

Team ‘Mark It’, placed third with their steel rig invention that easily marks out a fence post to show where wires should be stapled. In the team were Will Porritt, Sam Reeves, Bennet Groube and Daniel Johnson.

In fourth place were ‘Vele’, made up of Hannah Bethel, Bella Heskett, Jordan Grace, Priya Singh and Taylor White, for their biodegradable silage wrap made from the additive D2W.

Teams Gudgeon Guard and Mark It will exhibit their inventions in the Innovation Centre at Fieldays this week, vying for the title of Fieldays’ ‘Young Inventor of the Year’. Grassfed NZ and Vele will be on display at the St Paul’s stand in the Pavilion.

Photo Caption: The 2018 Crocodile Pit winning team Gudgeon Guard (L-R Spencer, Jarrod, Edward and Thomas) receive their prize cheque from judge Bob Weir.