12 Jun 2014

Seventh day surprise for pests

6:50 am on 12 June 2014

A cunning device for feeding out hay and another to control pests are among the new inventions on display at this year's national agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.

The national agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.

The national agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek. Photo: RNZ

Wessel Eksteen developed his simple but effective Roll-it feeder for towing and distributing hay in the paddock, after having a frustrating time doing that job on the farm.

"It's an A frame that fits over around the bale that you can tow it to where you want to feed it and basically roll it out with an ATV or side-by-side or tractor, really more for people who don't have heavy vehicles - and stuff like that," he said.

"Or people that don't want to cut up the paddock with a heavy vehicle, and you can use a lighter vehicle to tow it and feed it out."

From that small beginning, Mr Eksteen now has his Roll-it feeder in commercial production.

In the stall next door, Shane Hyde is demonstrating the smart feeder bait station his company, Ecoland, has developed for luring and poisoning possums and other pests.

"What it does is it delivers seven different foods over seven days (and) it can be set up so that on the seventh day it delivers a lethal dose of poison in which the resource can be harvested for jobs for fur recovery," Mr Hyde said.

"And it also contains the poison in a way that its not left in the environment and, effectively, it's something that can compete with aerial 1080 drops in the long-term if we were given funding to progress this project."

Mr Hyde said a three-D printer was used in the initial construction stage of the smart feeder.

Another group of avid inventors has developed a warning system to tackle the threat of fires in tractors and other farm equipment from birds building nests in engine bays.

That may seem like a rare event but Brent Brown, of Birdspy, said it was more common than people might think.

"So what we do, we don't try and prevent birds going into the engine bay but we provide a system which gives a reliable method of detecting when they do and sets an alarm," he said.

"So we place sensors inside the engine bay, the bird goes in there when you're not using the tractor, they trip the sensor and you come back turn the key on, you're met with a warning alarm and a flashing light and we disable starting of the tractor."