Phil and Lynda Snowden from Tocumwal in NSW have won the prestigious New Technology Award at the National Farmers’ Federation’s (NFF) 2010 Innovation in Agriculture Awards for their innovative hay covers, known as Hay Caps.
They received their award at a gala ceremony, attended by over 200 guests, which was recently held at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne.
The aim of the New Technology Award is to recognise those farmers that have instigated, adapted or seized upon technological advances and employed them effectively on-farm.
The Snowden’s 330 hectare hay and cattle property is the birthplace of Hay Caps – hay covers designed for storing hay safely and efficiently.
Haystacks are typically high and dangerous to cover using traditional tarpaulins. Enter Hay Cap .
Fitted safely atop hay bales at ground level hay covers are placed on bales and secured with pegs. The tractor picks up and stacks the bales, ensuring the covered bale is on top.
As the haystack is built, the folds of the Hay Caps fold together, creating a roof and ensuring no gaps are left between the bales and full coverage is achieved, even if the stacking is a bit rough.
The hay covers are made of food grade, recycled plastic. They are flexible, vermin-proof and durable enough to use for ten years, unlike tarpaulins that have to be replaced after one or two seasons.
The Snowden’s have succeeded in their quest to design re-usable hay covers to handle large square bales in an efficient and simple way.
“Necessity is the mother of invention and Phil and Lynda have succeeded in producing one of those simple yet clever inventions that makes us ask, ‘why didn’t we think of it before?’,” NFF President David Crombie said.