The Boerepatente competition for farmers’ inventions came of age this year at Nampo, and more budding inventors take part every year. This popular contest sparks the interest of many farmers who find useful ideas for solving some of their own problems in the exhibits. Over the years, many of the entrants’ devices and ideas have gone on to become commercially viable products. Joe Spencer reports.
Category A: Machinery & Implements
Martiens Prinsloo from Bloemfontein won first prize in the Category for Machinery and Implements with this ingenious applicator that places compost or manure into the ground behind substantial ripper tines. A system of belts meters out the manure into the spouts set behind the tines. Then two discs cover the opening to seal in the manure, so that the soil benefits from all the available nutrients.
1st prize: Ladies’ Class
The ability to invent ingenious, labour-saving devices obviously runs in the Botswana-based Goosen family. Tanya Goosen won 1st prize in this new class for ladies with her invention that prepares sausage casings so that they are easy to fit onto the sausage-making machine. A compressor blows air into the casing, allowing it to be easily threaded onto a tube that can then be placed over the sausage maker’s nozzle. Different diameter tubes are available to suit various sizes of sausage.
Category B: Modified farm Equipment
Geoffrey Lomas from Wierda Park was on-hand to demonstrate the automatic gate opener that won him 1st prize in this section. The “Green” gate operates using gravity and hydraulic pressure created by the vehicle moving over the tyre-activated lever set in the ground. For the purpose of the demonstration, both levers are shown together, but in practice the second lever is on the other side of the gate and operates the closing function. An electronic key, run from the vehicle’s 12V lighter socket and operated through the driver’s window, unlocks the device so that only authorised vehicles can use it.
Category C: Electrical Devices
CP van der Merwe of Kroonstad won his prize for an ingenious tool that makes soil sampling easy.
This is a sampling auger powered by a 12V electric motor and reduction gearbox of the type normally found on off-road vehicle winches. The depth markers on the drive shaft go up to 1,4m. CP says his unit is quite capable of penetrating to this depth in cultivated soils.
Category D: Household Equipment
Botswana’s Bertus Goosen kept it simple with this solution to the problem of removing various types of container lids. This one tool copes with caps both big and small. Bertus’s 1st prize joins the many he has won over the years.
Young farmer category
Marnus Nel from Bloemfontein is one of the many young farmers who appreciate the growing role of the Quad Bike or ATV in today’s farming scene. His mini boring unit, which can be towed to site with an ATV, was awarded 1st prize in this new category for young farmers under the age of 35.