The future of farming was celebrated at Fieldays today with the 2018 Innovation Awards.

Judges said the winners were successful at picking good problems to solve and being very creative in the way they solve them. Innovations that were easy to use, cost-effective, efficient and enhanced value came away with top honours.

Fieldays chief executive Peter Nation told the audience at this morning's awards breakfast about the importance of innovations.

"One of the main reasons the New Zealand agricultural industry is so recognised and respected around the world is because of the innovations coming from awards like these.

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"The people here today are shaping the future of farming and will be making major changes in in the industry in another 12 months."

The Fieldays Launch NZ Award was presented to Agricom during day two of New Zealand National Fieldays Photo / Stephen Barker / Barker Photography
The Fieldays Launch NZ Award was presented to Agricom during day two of New Zealand National Fieldays Photo / Stephen Barker / Barker Photography

The 2018 Innovation Award winners are:

Fieldays Grassroots Prototype Award – Acuris Systems

This prototype robot, autonomously navigates kiwifruit orchards while capturing highly accurate fruit data. This data is then analysed to provide growers with quality information and insights to their orchards performance.

Fieldays Grassroots Established Award - Pamu Farming New Zealand

Landcorp has just completed its second season of deer milking in partnership with the Peter and Sharon McIntyre. Significant, world first research and intellectual property has been developed from behind the farm gate through to a finished RMP approved product which Pāmu Foods can now use to assess market demand and price tolerance.

Fieldays Prototype Highly Commended – Maraeroa C Incorporation.

Ginseng Berry Gin is a New Zealand first made from ginseng berries grown in wild natural conditions at Pureora. The gineng berry gin has subtle flavours and textures whilst also having some health benefits.

Fieldays Launch NZ Highly Commended – Paysauce / Season app

Growers, managers, and contract pickers can ditch paperwork with the Season app - orchard supervisors collect timesheet and contract rate info and push it straight to payroll in seconds.

Fieldays Launch NZ Award – Agricom / Ecotain environmental plantain

Ecotain is an environmentally functional plantain that uses four independent mechanisms to reduce nitrogen leaching from the urine patch, as well as being a high quality, winter active forage.

Fieldays' Peter Carr, centre, with Asantha Wijeyeratne and Logan Tyson of Paysauce.
Fieldays' Peter Carr, centre, with Asantha Wijeyeratne and Logan Tyson of Paysauce.

Sponsored award winners:

•Young Innovator of the Year Award goes to: St Paul's Gudgeon Guard
•Vodafone Innovation Technology Award goes to: Halter
•Locus Research Innovation Award goes to: T C Fence Systems
•Origin Innovation IP goes to: Micropod
•Crowe Horwath Agri Innovation Award goes to: Kelvin Thermo Dog
•Tompkins Wake IP and Commercialisation Award goes to: Halter
•Callaghan Innovation Partnership & Collaboration Award goes to: Holsim

The International Innovation awards will also be announced today.