KUHN Farm Machinery has announced the winners of its Dream Machine competition, with four Young Farmers from Essex, County Durham, Devon and North Yorkshire winning a trip to the company’s global headquarters and manufacturing plant in France.
Held in association with the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC), the Dream Machine competition was designed to encourage young farmers to design an innovative and imaginative new piece of farm machinery that would benefit modern farming systems.
The four winners were announced on 7th May at the AGRI (Agriculture and Rural Issues) Forum as part of the NFYFC’s Annual Convention 2016 in Blackpool. They will be taken on an expenses-paid trip to KUHN’s French headquarters and manufacturing site at Saverne near Strasbourg during October, where the winners will have the opportunity to present their ‘Dream Machine’ concepts to the company’s head designers.
Ben Robinson of Great Smeaton YFC in North Yorkshire won the Junior (under 16) category with his design for a trailed disc and tine cultivator for use on stony land. Ben’s design emphasis was to reduce cultivation costs by negating the need to power harrow. His machine is designed with two rows of sub-soiling tines, the second of which targets soil compaction caused by tractor wheels. Ben’s design also incorporates a final set of hydraulically operated press wheels which can double-up as transportation wheels.
In the Intermediate (under 21) class, Benjamin Sell from Brentwood YFC in Essex designed a bale spike capable of safely and securely loading or unloading between one and four mini Hesston bales. Having struggled to unload several hundred bales during last year’s harvest with an inadequate bale spike, Ben designed the new machine to make the loading and unloading process more efficient. Ben’s machine features two lower rows of tine spikes, plus a third, hydraulically operated upper pair of tines which grab and secure a third row of bales.
Ben intends to build his first prototype – which features an anti-topple frame for when the grab isn’t in use – ahead of this year’s harvest and hopes that his design will go on to help other livestock farmers and bale contractors.
In the Senior (under 26) class, Caroline Baker of Stockton YFC in County Durham designed a bale wrapper with an automatic film loading system. As a newly trained tractor driver, the weight of replacement film tubes prevented Caroline from operating a conventional bale wrapper. Her design solves this problem by using a revolving film storage conveyor with spring- loaded film holders to make films easy to load. An automated tube replacement system negates the need to load the film tubes into the wrapper by hand, with empty cartridges being automatically discharged and replaced by a full tube from the storage conveyor.
In the Associate (27 years and over) category, Daniel Webber from Withleigh YFC in Devon designed a ‘Rapid Wrap’ baler and wrapper combination. Daniel’s machine combines a conventional large square baler with an adapted version of KUHN’s SW 4004 bale wrapper to produce one machine which bales and wraps in one. Daniel’s design is aimed at farmers and contractors looking to reduce the costs and time entailed in producing square bale haylage and silage, with an emphasis on maintaining bale quality and shape as part of a non-stop baling and wrapping process.
Sian Pritchard, Managing Director of KUHN Farm Machinery (UK), said: “We have been very impressed by the amount of thought and reasoning that went into the winning entries and look forward to welcoming all four winners to our factory in Saverne. All four of the winning Dream Machines show some excellent design features, and it is clear that the winners have a real understanding of the mechanical needs of modern farming systems.”
Sam Dilcock, Chairman of the AGRI steering group, expressed the NFYFC’s appreciation for KUHN’s sponsorship of the competition. “On behalf of the NFYFC and AGRI Forum, I’d like to thank KUHN for their kind sponsorship. The competition is a great example of the way the NFYFC works to provide young farmers with opportunities to learn more about the agricultural industry and for members to share their ideas for the future with industry leaders who can bring their ideas to life. The trip to Saverne is a fantastic opportunity for the four winners to learn more about the design and manufacturing processes involved in getting a piece of farm machinery from a design concept to a working piece of equipment.”