AgriScot 2022: Smart bolus system wins Innovation Award

A NEW ‘smart’ bolus which can help farmers manage the herd health of their cows has won the AgriScot Innovations Award for 2022.

Judged and presented at this year’s show, the top ticket went to the smaXtec health system, with David Pool fronting the show stand. The company’s bolus detects rumination, movement and, crucially, temperature fluctuations in cows when inserted into the rumen via the animal’s mouth.

Mr Steiner said this could result in farmers being able to detect mastitis cases, for instance, four days before any clinical signs were seen. Farmers can view all the functions recorded by the bolus and it can send an alert when temperatures rise or rumen function slows down.

The bolus costs around £20, but a smart data box which takes the signals from them costs £5500. There are now 225,000 of the boluses in 12 countries across the world, including 125 herds with the system in the UK sinc launch in March of this year.

Two innovations received a ‘Highly Commended’ award. First was Brechin-based company, Soil Essentials’ SKAi artificial intelligence platform which is based around a re-trainable smart camera set up that detects weeds, such as docks, and then spot treats them with a herbicide.

Field trials had shown that a 77% saving in chemical was possible using the system.

Also commended was GEA Farm Technologies’ self-driving robot feed mixer, DairyFeed F4500.

The judges were Ken Fletcher, editor of The Scottish Farmer; John Elliot, a well-known Scottish cattle and sheep breeder; and Alan Laidlaw, CEO of RHASS.

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