The best of Kiwi "No.8 Wire" ingenuity was recognised at the 2020 Fieldays Online Innovation Awards. The Country has a closer look at the winners.

This year's entries proved that New Zealand really was the land of milk and honey, as the award winners ranged from colostrum management, to biodynamic fertiliser, to better beekeeping.

Waikato-based company Hivesite won big with its in-beehive autonomous, chemical free, thermal treatment for Varroa mite, taking out both the Grassroots Prototype Award and the James & Wells Innovation Award.

Varroa infection of beehives led to colony collapse, but tackling the problem with pesticides not only impacted bee productivity, but also added labour costs.


For the Grassroots Prototype Award, judges said they were impressed by the use of technology to enable an efficient and self-contained system that used heat to kill Varroa without the need of chemicals.

"The product has been proven in field trials and we liked the sensible decisions related to essential and non-essential functionality and add-ons that will increase the likelihood of a successful commercial product."

The Hivesite team with their awards. Photo / Supplied
The Hivesite team with their awards. Photo / Supplied

Regarding the James & Wells Innovation Award, Judge Jason Tuck was also impressed with Hivesite's non-chemical approach, which he said was "a critical issue for apiarists both home and abroad".

A Wells and Patent Attorney at James & Wells, Tuck said he also admired the potential for added-value "through applications enabled by the technology which extended beyond the core purpose."

Meanwhile, fertiliser company Agrisea took out the Established Prototype Award, with its BioactiveN innovation.

The Bioactive formulation incorporated the high bioactive contents of both marine and terrestrial plants, which helped reduce urinary nitrogen while increasing animal performance.

Ultimately this helped farmers meet ever-changing environmental requirements, as well as consumers' demands.

Judges said they saw this as a valuable addition to agricultural nitrogen control.


"This innovation addresses the reduction in nitrogen related pollution in a novel way by utilising a feed additive that enhances the ability of a cow to metabolise nitrogen ingested, such that more is used and up to 18 per cent less is present in the animal's urine."

Trusti Colostrum Management System. Photo / Supplied
Trusti Colostrum Management System. Photo / Supplied

Winners of the Innovation Launch Award, Antahi Innovations Ltd, wowed the judges with their Trusti Colostrum Management System.

The Trusti Colostrum Management System was used for testing, storing, feeding and pasteurisation, through the use of the kit's Trusti Colostrum bags and accessories and Trusti Pasteur colostrum pasteuriser.

Judges praised the product as a well-thought-out system.

"Each component is clever in its own right, but together make a compelling solution. Trusti Colostrum addresses animal health and welfare needs and helps to set calves up well for life. It offers an exciting commercial opportunity worldwide for this NZ-based business."

Waikato veterinarian and chief innovator at Antahi, Ursula Haywood was thrilled to win the award.


"It is exciting to see our new colostrum management system adopted so quickly by our progressive farmers here in NZ. We look forward to helping many more farmers manage their crucial gold colostrum for their future herd. The Fieldays Innovation Awards will not only will help spread the good word domestically but also strengthen our exports."

Other notable winners
Vodafone Digital Innovation award
"Waterwatch Live" by Tussock Innovation
A remote sensing water management system that harnesses AI.

Callaghan Innovation Partnership and Collaboration award
"Lateral" by Ecolibrium Biologicals Ltd
A safe, effective biological pesticide for the control of caterpillars in various crops.

Amazon Web Services Innovation in Data award
"Fleetpin Rollover Safety System" by Fleetpin Ltd.
A rollover warning and critical alerting system designed for quad bikes, side-by-sides, and other farm vehicles.

Innovation International award
"MagGrow" bu MagGrow.
A patented, proprietary technology that significantly reduces waste associated with conventional pesticide applications.

Young Inventor of the Year award
"Flashflow" by James Barker, Thomas Glenn, William Cowan, and Curtly Harper of St Paul's Collegiate School.
An LED turbine powered water flow detector.