WINNER - Environment/Agriculture
Who Massey University
What C-Dax Pasture Meter, a device that senses and records the amount of pasture grass in any given area
Why you should care Any device that limits fertiliser waste has got to be a good thing for the environment and the bottom line. Add to that the fact it offers tangible financial benefits to farmers and you’re onto a winner
The C-Dax Pasture Meter shows you how beneficial a collaborative approach can be.
While All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) proved popular when they emerged in the 80s, C-Dax thought it could make them even more functional for farmers and growers by creating ATV accessories that could sustainably reduce farming input costs.
Teaming up with Massey University postgraduate students Rob Murray and Hayden Lawrence, and led by professor Ian Yule’s vision, the team went about developing an efficient pasture measurement system for farmers.
The result is the C-Dax Pasture Meter. Using a pulsing beam of near infra-red light, this clever device not only tells you how much feed you have for your stock, it also identifies areas with poor pasture performance so you can apply fertiliser in the right places.
And it does it quickly, traveling at speeds of up to 20kph, allowing for up to 200 measurements per second.
Adding a touch more cleverness, the device also comes equipped with software that can forecast feed and the potential for improved pasture utilisation by 15 percent, thereby maximising farm production.
The Pasture Meter has sold more than 1000 units in New Zealand and is patented both here and in its overseas target markets.
All up, it has the potential to provide a 7.1 percent gain for the average dairy farmer, which works out to $46,434 per year. Just hitch it to the back of ATV and you’re away.