During the upcoming Lamma farm machinery show awards for innovative technology will be handed out.
Recipients of awards for innovative technology being featured at Lamma, the UK’s largest farm machinery show in January 2019 include an impact and temperature logging device to help minimise damage losses in harvested fruit and vegetables, and a vision-guided inter-row for salad crops grown in lines as little as 50mm apart.
ImpacTrack data logger to reduce food waste
According to the LAMMA 2019 Innovation Award judges, the new ImpacTrack data logger from Martin Lishman – a company that specialises in crop storage technologies – is an innovative product with the potential to reduce food waste and improve product quality.
Dr Gavin Lishman, managing director, says: “The fact that 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted globally each year, with almost 60% of crops spoilt, damaged or wasted during post-harvest operations, presents a huge challenge to the food production industry. But digital agri-tech solutions, leading to more efficient post-harvest processes, do not need to be costly and can reduce losses to as low as 1-2%.”
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A device for monitoring and recording temperatures and impacts during post-harvest handling and shipping of fruit and vegetables – the Martin Lishman ImpacTrack – won Gold in the Future Innovation category of the awards being presented at the LAMMA 2019 event in January.
The device can be used on its own in product packaging or encased in shapes that mimic the shape and weight of produce such as Gala apple, sweetcorn and Haas avocado.
Martin Lishman Sensing app
The Gold award winner in the LAMMA 2019 Future Innovation category is a cube-shaped data logger that can be inserted within the packaging of any fresh produce to monitor temperature and impact shock during transit over any distance by road, rail, sea or air. It can also be encased in a 3D printed shape that mimics the size, shape and density of the fruit or vegetable being processed, which allows real-time monitoring or recording of damage during handling by machines or humans at any stage from the field to the shop floor. The data gathered can be downloaded at the end of the journey via Bluetooth to any smart phone or tablet using the Martin Lishman Sensing app.
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The Gala apple version floats like the real thing so that washing flumes can be monitored.
Data collected by the ImpacTrack can be downloaded by Bluetooth to any smart phone or tablet computer to the Martin Lishman Sensing app.
The dummy shapes reproduce the movement characteristics of fruit and vegetables prone to damage and bruising and therefore get as close as possible to a realistic representation of impact ‘black spots’ in handling machinery. If handling is in water, as with apples, the dummy is also able to float with the real fruit. Shapes already created are Gala apple, sweetcorn, Haas avocado, carrot, parsnip, strawberry, potato, onion and egg; others such as mango, banana and peach are also possible, says Dr Lishman.
“ImpacTrack is an example of a game-changing technology that can be used worldwide and adapted to suit all types and sizes of production and handling facility,” he adds. “It can make a significant contribution to the challenge of reducing waste losses.”
Baby Salad Leaf Hoe
Garford Farm Machinery, already known for its Robocrop guided hoes and weeding machines capable of working between plants within rows as well as between them, also won Gold for its latest product. The Baby Salad Leaf Hoe is designed for delicate weed control hoeing in narrow rows of 50mm or less to assist growers faced with limited herbicide options.
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The Robocrop Baby Leaf Salad Hoe uses camera and disc guidance for high precision hoeing in salad and similar crops grown in very narrow-spaced rows.
It works in crops established by roller-type seeders that produce a perfectly flat bed surface, and uses camera guidance for an offsetting mechanism plus ground-engaged disc steering to maintain sufficient hoe blade accuracy to work close to the plants.
Minimum soil disturbance
The hoe shares are designed for minimum soil disturbance whilst disrupting weed growth and ‘baby weeder rakes’ encourage maximum desiccation by exposing the weed roots on the surface.
The LAMMA 2019 Innovation Award judges said this development brings together a range of engineering principles to produce a highly technical hoe suited to a critical market, that addresses the need for reliable performance when dealing with very small leaf crops.
National Exhibition Centre (NEC)
Birmingham B40 1NT, United Kingdom
Tuesday, 8th January: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Wednesday, 9th January: 8.30am – 4.30pm
The video below shows the highlight of the Lamma 2018 show