Gallagher partners with farmer inventor to take out Fieldays International Innovation Award

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Gallagher and farmer inventor Murray Jones have developed an award-winning water monitoring tool to help farmers save time by finding leaks faster. 

The Gallagher Water Flow Indicator took out the 2019 Fieldays International Innovation Award, which was announced in June at Mystery Creek.

Murray Jones is a wool buyer for Carrfields in Gisborne, but farmed for 12 years in Kotemaori, Hawke’s Bay. He says the idea was inspired by pure frustration.

“Like many farmers, I was sick of wasting time going around my farm looking for water leaks.”

Gallagher

Mark Harris, Gallagher global marketing manager for animal management; Murray Jones, farmer inventor; Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture.

The process for creating the Water Flow Indicator took nearly seven years and went through a number of prototypes before Murray was ready to take it to the next step.

He made a cold call to Gallagher in Hamilton and arranged to meet global marketing manager for animal management Mark Harris in Napier so he could pitch his idea.

“It was an easy choice to go to Gallagher,” says Jones. “The company has such a great reputation nationally and globally, and their marketing reach is pretty hard to beat.”

By installing it at important junctions in water lines, the Water Flow Indicator enables farmers to find leaks easily by visually checking for abnormal water flow.

The dual colour impellor makes it easy to see water direction and speed. It is compatible with standard pipe fittings and is available in 1¼” (32mm) and 2” (50mm) sizes. It is made of high quality, UV-resistant, engineering-grade plastic that is easy to install and clean.

Harris says Jones’ approach to Gallagher clearly showed the benefit the product could provide farmers and gave a great starting point for the project.

“With Murray’s help, we set up meetings with a number of farmers around the country to understand the issues they face with their water systems. Farmers told us that identifying and then finding water leaks can be time consuming and frustrating. Some form of easy way to see what is going on inside their pipes would help with this process. 

The Water Flow Indicator in action.

The Water Flow Indicator in action.

“We then created a number of different ideas for how this product might work, and tested concepts on several farms – some of which were quite different to the final product.” 

The Water Flow Indicator will be available on dealers’ shelves later in the year. It is a standalone product that farmers are likely to install in places where they have valves.

Also featuring at Fieldays on the new Gallagher site was its latest range of fence energizers, which give farmers three options when it comes to powering their units.

The MBS (mains, battery, solar) multi-powered energizer range provides stock control up to 32 hectares, with models between 1 and 8 joules of stored energy. Each of the four energizers in the range opens opportunities to where stock is controlled and what power source is used.

Gallagher developed the range after close consultation with farmers about what they wanted in a truly flexible energizer. This included a need for greater power, reliability, portability and robustness in a single package. The power source flexibility of the MBS range means farmers no longer need to mix and match energizers to applications.

The range is available now from Gallagher stockists.

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