Twenty entries at the cutting edge of agricultural technology will vie for the prestigious Henty Machine of the Year Award.
This year, entries range from an innovative hay rake and wireless remote system for tipping truck hydraulics, to a self-propelled sprayer and the revolutionary Morris Quantum air drill.
The “farmers’ choice’’ award is presented to the most outstanding new piece of agricultural machinery exhibited at the Henty Machinery Field Days and is announced during the official opening on Tuesday morning.
It is judged by an independent panel of regional primary producers.
Judging criteria includes the machine’s purpose and suitability, scope of application, construction, ease of maintenance and service, ease of operation and adjustment, availability of parts and overall value for money.
The award was open to all machines on site released into the Australian market in the previous 12 months.
“A win at Henty gives the entrant valuable exposure for their product,’’ Field Days deputy chairman Nigel Scheetz said.
In many cases the machine has gone on to become a standard piece of equipment on farms.
Last year, the award drew 18 entries with the 24m wide 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill, entered by Bourgault, impressing the judges with its unique folding mechanism.
Highly commended was the Coolamon All Rounder multi-purpose chaser bin entered by Bruce and Heath Hutcheon, Coolamon Chaser Bins, Coolamon.
An additional accolade is the Greater Hume Council Award for the best new Australian designed and manufactured machine.
It is judged on Monday and presented on the final day of the field days.
Last year it was won by the South Australian designed and manufactured multi-purpose tracking trailer from Kelly Engineering, Booleroo.
Bourgault territory manager Matt French said the Machine of the Year Award had generated massive national publicity for the company on the 24m Paralink drill.
“It has definitely good for business with people coming through the door to look at the machine and walking out with product of some description,’’ Mr French said.
Mr French said there had been plenty of interest in the company’s smaller 40 to 60 feet wide seeders but dry seasonal conditions had worked against the larger 80 and 100 foot models.
He expects interest to pick up once conditions west of the Newell Highway improve.