By Chris McCullogh
Northern Ireland-based Greenhill Systems picked up a Silver Award at LAMMA for its Heatguard Evolution transparent roofing sheets.
Held in January at the NEC Birmingham, this year’s LAMMA attracted over 40,000 visitors from all areas of the UK, Ireland and beyond.
The show hosts a number of Innovation Awards each year in various categories which recognises and rewards innovation and advances within the agricultural industry.
LAMMA Silver Award
Judges awarded Greenhill Systems, based near Ballymena in Co. Antrim, the Silver Livestock Innovation Award 2024 for the Heatguard Evolution sheeting that is now very popular on dairy farms.
Heatguard Evolution sheeting is a cladding for all types of livestock buildings, and has also been used on many storage, workshop and industrial buildings.
The transparent sheeting helps increase cow comfort and brings benefits such as increased milk yield and daily liveweight gain.
Cows behave and produce better when they are in their natural environment with sufficient periods of light, but some barns are too dark and cows underperform.
Research shows that cows that are exposed to light levels of 150 to 200 lux for 16-18 hours per day show improved milk production, reproduction, feed efficiency, and heifer growth. The optimum light level for night time is around 30 to 50 lux.
Paul Smyth, managing director of Greenhill Systems, who is also a dairy farmer, was very pleased to win the award.
He said: “The product is really speaking for itself on farms but it was super to have the Heatguard Evolution recognised with an award at LAMMA.
“It was a really busy show for us with lots of people visiting our stand to find out more on the benefits this material can bring.
“Dairy farmers, in particular, are already witnessing better cow comfort and fertility within their herds after fitting the award-winning transparent sheeting.”
Heatguard Evolution sheeting is made from polycarbonates and is available in lengths of up to 6m with heat sealed ends.
The material takes the form of a 6mm triple wall corrugated sheet which also has a co-extruded layer on the outside surface that forms a barrier, resistant to the detrimental effects of UV light, maintaining the sheets mechanical properties.
Weighing only 2.2kg/m², Heatguard Evolution has a very high strength-to-weight ratio and is easy to install. Each sheet is overlapped when fitting and there is no space left between the sheets.
These sheets supplied by Greenhill Systems have a unique reinforced side lap which makes them the strongest on the market, according to the company.
They are able to be fitted on standard purlin spacing of 1375mm, ideal for new builds or retrofitting to existing buildings.
Under the sun, the sheeting acts like a mirror to reflect heat, minimising solar heat gain, eliminating hot spots and lowering the need for artificial lighting.
The sheets are available with three different levels of light penetration depending on the requirement of the farmer and have a life expectancy of around 25 years, depending on the conditions.
Paul Smyth added: “We are selling it across the world and are encouraged by the number of enquiries we receive every week.”