FSOOTY 2022 entries now open!
FSOOTY seeks to reward the country’s top sprayer operators - whilst also sharing the practical tips and best practice that can help all operators enhance results and protect the environment. It's open to all sprayer operators, with the initial stage involving just a few on line questions.
The winner will be announced at Cereals Event 2022 and will win a trip to the 2023 Agritechnica event in Hannover.
Follow @SyngentaCropsUK on Twitter for latest news from the Awards.
Read on for Top Tips from all of our fantastic 2021 finalists - with thanks to ProOperator magazine for supplying details.
Harry Fordham, New Farming Technology Lead EUN, on FSOOTY
"The application of crop protection products is one of the most complex challenges faced on farm. From filling the sprayer, through applying the spray to disposing of the empty containers, the operator is faced with many possible ways of doing the job.
The use of plant protection products is under constant scrutiny, so it is important to use them safely and efficiently in a way that meets crop needs, as well as public, operator and environmental safety.
It’s a tricky balance, but for many operators, it comes as second nature. The Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year award aims to recognise this professional approach and help encourage further improvements.
It’s not about having the latest kit. If you can demonstrate ingenuity and an ability to meet these varying objectives by using agrochemicals sensibly, then you are in with a chance of winning."
FSOOTY 2021 Finalist Top Tips
Steven Forbes – W H Gittins, Wykey Farm, Shrewsbury
As the main sprayer operator at W.H Gittins and Sons, Wykey Farm, near Shrewsbury, Steven Forbes keeps busy looking after 1,280ha of crops including cereals, whole crop silage, sugar beet and maize.
Steven's Top Tip is to keep on learning; talk to other operators to pick up and share ideas. He recently saw a tip about using an oil filter wrench to remove can lids, and now uses it all the time.
Luke Haynes – Stevens Farm (Hawkhurst), Cranbrook, Kent
Luke Haynes operates a 5,000-litre Rogator 645 with 30m Pommier boom at Stevens Farm (Hawkhurst), near Cranbrook in Kent. Here he is responsible for spraying 1,150ha of crops including wheat, oats, oilseed rape and beans.
Luke’s Top Tip is planning – the key to increasing output and timely applications. Plan your work with agronomists to make the most of every spraying opportunity. Look for ways to reduce road travel, wash-outs, nozzle changes and filter cleanouts. Make sure you have everything you need for a day’s spraying in the right place in advance.
Tom Ingram – Sutton Cheney Farms Partnership, Nuneaton, Warwicks
Tom Ingram, is assistant manager at Sutton Cheney Farms Partnership near Market Bosworth, where he operates a Knight SP 1840, with a 4,000-litre tank and 24m boom.
Tom’s Top Tip to fit a couple of spare nozzles to the hand rail and use a nozzle ‘handle’ to make it quick and easy to change. Also, do the BASIS course and learn from other operators, online, webinars and magazines.
Jonathan Legg, Ashton Farms, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Jonathan Legg works for Ashton Farms, based at Trowbridge, where operates a 4,000-litre, Bateman RB35 with 30m VG boom, with twin lines and is responsible covering about 7,000ha of mainly contract operations in a 20 to 30 mile radius of the base.
Jonathan’s Top Tip is to never be shy – ask questions. Help from anyone more experienced than you will always make you a better operator.
Danny Milazzo – Drysdales, Cockburnspath, Berwickshire
Danny Milazzo is the main sprayer operator at Drysdales, based in the Borders, where he uses a Rogator 645, with a 5,000-litre tank and 36m boom for spraying a large proportion vegetable crops, including 504ha of Brussel Sprouts, 232ha of swedes and 80ha of leeks. On average these are treated up to ten times.
Danny’s Top Tip is to invest in the best nozzles for the task and to look for, and try, new technology and techniques to improve applications.
Josh Whitear – Netherley Farm Partnership, Waterlooville, Hants
Josh Whitear who works for Netherley Farm Partnership, near Waterlooville, Hampshire, where he operates an Amazone UF 1801 sprayer with 24m boom and FT 1001 front tank, providing a total of 2,800-litres covering 413ha of combinable crops.
Josh’s Top Tip is to buy or construct a pipe holder when using a front-rear combination sprayer. It saves time coupling up and improves safety.