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FSOOTY Finalists announced


The six finalists have been selected for the Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year 2020.

All of the finalists will now be interviewed by a panel of judges, to further tease out their application knowledge.

It will also help us to gather and share their Top Tips and ideas for more accurate and effective spray techniques.

The finalists are:

Peter Dennis – Sentry, R Stenberg Farms, Tenterden, Kent

FSOOTY 2020 - Peter Dennis

Peter Dennis is the only entrant in this year’s line-up who has reached the finals before. A sprayer operator since the 1980s, he works for Sentry carrying out all the spraying at R Sternberg Farms in Kent. Here he’s responsible for applications on 1,200ha of arable cropping, using a 24m, Househam Merlin with 4,000-litre tank.

Matt Fuller – Heathcote Farms, Toddington, Beds

Four years ago, after finishing university, Matt Fuller joined Heathcote Farms in Toddington, Bedfordshire, where he is now the main sprayer operator. Since then he has taken his BASIS qualification and entered FSOOTY to further his education and application knowledge. Mr Fuller operates a 4,000-litre, Bateman RB35 with 32m wide VG boom. It is one of the first in the UK to be equipped with Capstan Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), which became the subject of his BASIS project.

Visit the EiOperator website for more information on all the FSOOTY Finalists and look out for the latest issue of ProOperator

Luke Haynes - Montreal Estate, Kent

FSOOTY 2020 - Luke Haynes

A sprayer operator for just five years, Luke Hayes, has recently completed his BASIS qualification and entered FSOOTY to further increase his knowledge. Mr Haynes is responsible for all the spraying at the Montreal Estate, Sevenoaks, Kent. There he treats 400ha of land with a 4,000-litre Bateman RB 35 with 24m booms, equipped with Hypro DuoReact twin nozzles. He also carries out a further 300ha of contracting.

Steven Keal – Thelveton Farms, Diss

FSOOTY 2020 - Steven Keal 2

Shortly after Steven Keal moved to Thelveton Farms, Diss the business replaced its previous 24m machine with a new 5,000-litre, Agrifac Condor, with a 36m wide boom fitted with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). He uses this to treat 1,440ha of combinable, as well as contract potatoes. He finds the PWM’s single nozzle control and turn compensation has greatly improved accuracy, leading to significant savings.

Michael Knight – A J Middleton, Pytchley, Kettering

FSOOTY 2020 - Michael Knight

Michael Knight operates a new Sands Horizon 5,500 litre capacity, which brought a move up to a 36m wide boom, replacing a 24m Vision 4000. He uses this to treat the farm’s 1,600ha of crops including winter and spring wheat, oilseed rape, beans, spring barley and linseed. Along with contracting, he reckons to cover about 12,000ha a year, operating across land in a radius of about 12 miles from his base.

Tristan Newens – Windmill Down Farm, Petersfield, Hampshire

Tristan Newens reckons to spend about 850hrs/year spraying 6,500ha of crops from his base at Windmill Down Farm, Petersfield, Hampshire, where he operates a trailed John Deere R952i. From here he covers five separate farms across land from Portsmouth up to Alton in Hampshire.

Visit the EiOperator website for more information on all the FSOOTY Finalists and look out for the latest issue of ProOperator

Find out who will be the Winner - to be announced at 12.30pm on Wednesday 10th at Cereals Live 2020 and here on the Syngenta website and Twitter.

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