Nick Stevens from Wiltshire has been crowned this year’s Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year at Cereals 2008, fighting off tough competition from seven other top spraymen who made it to the finals.
Competition organiser Tom Robinson, Syngenta’s application specialist, said standards had risen year on year to make this one of the toughest finals ever.
Mr Stevens proved a worthy winner by paying meticulous attention to detail on all aspects of his spraying operation, said Mr Robinson.
He had an excellent new sprayer, yet had made over 10 modifications to it, to make his job safer, simpler, cleaner, and to avoid potential problems.
Sprayer filling was optimised for safe quick and easy handling of product and water supplies, and Mr Stevens had created an effective system for disposal of used containers and boxes.
“Nick, a previous finalist, has put a lot of effort into being the UK’s number one operator,” said Mr Robinson.
“His knowledge and understanding of spray physics is excellent. This is demonstrated by his choice of nozzles to match crop and conditions, optimising product performance and number of spray days while minimising the chance of off-target losses and risk to the environment.
“His total approach to the job of spraying includes projecting a good image for his employer, the job of spraying, and sprayer operators in general.”
Mr Stevens wins the FSOOTY trophy and a study tour to Denmark.