Sheepvention Farm Ideas & Technology

Sheepvention 2009 farm inventions

Hand piece a winner
Shearing hand pieces have been the focus of attention at many Sheepvention inventions competitions since they started in 1979. It is fitting therefore that at 30th anniversary competition a hand piece once again became the winner. This year New Zealander David Short won the Novartis Animal Health award for best invention with the Handypiece. This is a standard hand piece that has been reconfigured to be driven by a small motor powered by external batteries. Short said his invention particularly suited farmers crutching sale lambs or sheep in a race, attending to fly affected animals and could even be used for trimming hair off dairy cows tails in the milking shed. He said while it can be used to shear sheep, it was not designed to compete with conventional shearing machines, rather the Handypiece allows the job to be done outside of the shearing shed. It will sell in Australia for around $1200. Contact: David Short


Fold away trailer
Unstoppable farm inventor Barry Bennett Barooga NSW was busy developing new ideas in 2009. The fold away, self-levelling ATV trailer may suit sheep farmers who need to rescue ewes at lambing. The lightweight trailer is designed to fold up then sit vertically on the tow bar. Contact: Barry Bennett 03 5873 4267
Ultimate gate hinge
Pete Singleton holds the drill guide alongside a gate attached using HE-man hinge. The hinges come in three sizes starting at $100 a set; the drill guide costs $65. Contact: Pete Singleton 03 5565 4244,
Safer hay making
A method of simply applying Silo Guard, a product that prevents bales overheating, has been developed by Vomax Instrumentation, Thebarton SA. According to Feedworks Mark Lourey two new innovations the Gazeeka microwave moisture gauge and Gazeeka preservative flow controller will enable the hay contractor and farmer to make and store hay more safely. The moisture gauge determines bale moisture content as it leaves the baler and spray marks those with too high moisture. The flow controller ensures products like Silo Guard are accurately applied to the bale. Lourey says with Silo Guard hay up to 25% moisture can be baled. Contact: Mark Lourey 03 5429 6458,
S shaped drafting race
Joe Hoban, Proway Prattley is always thinking of improvements in sheep yard design. This year he entered the Serpentine Sheep Draft. The idea came from his walk over weighing system where sheep sometimes move too fast so a series of curves were added to slow them down. Hoban says sheep can move too fast when drafting and its difficult to see enough of them, the Serpentine draft slows them down and minimises baulking. He contends this means a steady flow and drafting rate per hour is increased. The Serpentine draft will be offered as an option in the company’s fixed sheep yards. Contact: Joe Hoban 1300 655 383,
Easy trailer maneuvering
Don and Lois Geering have made maneuvering trailers and horse floats far simpler with their CTM bracket. It also has a tamper proof locking device so trailers cannot easily be stolen. Ratchet operated jockey wheels are difficult to use with side mounted jockey wheel brackets. By including this with the ball coupling the jockey wheel sits at the front of the tow bar 270 degree maneuvering is available. The hot dip galvanized bracket with a German made special padlock is priced at $260. Contact: Don Geering 03 5721 2457
2 in 1 bale hook
Colin Smith, Balmoral Vic, has developed a safer to use bale hook, the BFR Hook. The hook has a small grab on one side which can be used to remove bale clips safely and simply. Price in Elders stores is around $45. Contact: Colin Smith 03 5570 1217
Air operated sheep handler
NSW livestock equipment manufacturer Bill Byrne won the Australian Farm Journal Award for an outstanding wool or sheep innovation with the Peak Hill Industries VEE Immobiliser Sheep Handler. The judges were impressed with the simplicity built into the air operated sheep handler and the ability to purchase the core unit at a moderate price. If and when extra components were required such as automatic weighing, crutching module, or three way draft, they can be purchased separately The base unit is priced at around $5000, and a suite of add-ons are available. Contact: Bill Byrne
Controlled bale feeding
Tony and Gerard Kenna, Terang Vic, have included a metering device on their Sinch Square Bale Feeders. They found the hay or silage was tipping off the back of their feed in too large portions especially close to the end. By adding the spinner mechanism, dispersal is controlled through to the end of the bale. They manufacter three models of bale feeder from ute mounted to 4 bale trailers, prices start at $12,600. Contact: Tony Kenna 0421 431 918
Pipe plug remover
Barry Bennett has also developed a novel method for removing irrigation pipe plugs. He says for OH&S reasons a plug remover is safer than manual removal as pipes can harbour snakes and spiders. Contact: Barry Bennett 03 5873 4267



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