Many hands make light work of feeding out

A Southland farmer's invention to help make life easier on the farm is gaining international attention.

Fortification valley sheep and beef farmer Paul Anderson spent so much of his time feeding his stock, particularly in winter, he decided to take things into his own hands and invent a bale grab.

He would pick up a bale, drive 10 minutes, open a few gates on the way and drop it where it was needed, and repeat up to 10 times.

"Often, I spent an entire morning doing this. I thought ‘there has to be an easier and quicker way to do this'."

He had no engineering background but had a workshop where he fixed and made things for the farm.

He set to work in his workshop "knocking a few things together" and tinkered for about one year with various ideas on how to get his bales shifted more efficiently.

"I made many alterations to prototypes before I refined it and made my idea bulletproof," he said.

Instead of carrying just one bale, his bale grab can carry up to four.

He patented the Two Hands Bale Grab, made of steel, in New Zealand.

He believed it was the only one of its kind in the world.

It was now in the process of gaining an international patent.

Farmers and contractors throughout New Zealand were so impressed by his efforts they had started to use his bale grabs, which were manufactured in the Waikawa Valley, he said.

Now he is getting sales inquires from the United States and Australia, he said.

Demand is getting so high he had opened another manufacturing facility in the North Island and had downsized his 283ha farm to about 60ha.

He expected to receive more interest at the Southern Field Days, which starts at Waimumu near Gore today and continues tomorrow and Friday.

The Southland Times