Great potential in electronic drench gun

Jeremy Blampied (left) and Patrick Blampied, from Te Pari Products, with judge Timothy Allan, after Te Pari's win in the Grassroots Innovation category at Fieldays. Photo supplied.
Jeremy Blampied (left) and Patrick Blampied, from Te Pari Products, with judge Timothy Allan, after Te Pari's win in the Grassroots Innovation category at Fieldays. Photo supplied.
An electronic drench gun, believed to be a world-first, has the potential to save farmers ''thousands of dollars'', the Oamaru-based company that designed it believes.

Te Pari Products Ltd, which manufactures livestock handling equipment and animal husbandry products, won the Grassroots Innovation Award at the recent Fieldays at Mystery Creek.

The gun integrated with an electronic weigh scale which calculated how much drench an animal needed.

That data was transmitted via Wi-Fi to the gun, which delivered a calibrated dose based on the animal's exact weight.

The gun eliminated both under-drenching and costly over-drenching that could occur when groups of stock were drenched to the animal with the heaviest weight, Te Pari director Jeremy Blampied said.

''The gun will also work against drench resistance and significantly improve drench effectiveness.

''We believe savings of up to $1 per cattle beast per drench are possible, depending on the age and cost of the drench.

''It will offer some real economic benefits and is environmentally friendly, as farmers are not needlessly wasting drench,'' Mr Blampied said.

A statistics button on the gun showed the total drench used and the number of doses administered.

It could be linked to EID on the weigh scales to record dose amounts and frequency for individual animals.

The Te Pari team had been working intensively on the gun for about a year, although it had been ''on the drawing board'' much longer.

It was hoped to have it in production by early next year. It was suitable for sheep and cattle and it was expected to handle both pour-on and oral drenching.

Locus Research managing director Timothy Allan, who was among the judges for the Grassroots Innovation Award, said the gun was a ''great idea''.

''It may look like a simple product but achieving it would have been extremely difficult. There's a good reason why this hasn't been done before,'' he said.

Te Pari Products was established in the North Island in 1979 by Pete French, whose father, Ted, developed a scissor-action docking iron, which his son redesigned and refined.

Coincidentally, that docking iron won a Fieldays invention award in 1980 and an equipment award in 1981.

The company had been awarded six other New Zealand Fieldays accolades and one Australian national fieldays award over the next 10 years.

The Blampied family purchased the business in 1997 and relocated to Oamaru in 2002-03.

It now intends relocating its Humber St manufacturing operation to the town's new North End Business Park.

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