Crop protection is one of the most complex jobs on arable farms and it is the sprayer operators who are on the front line in the battle against weeds, diseases and pests.

Correctly applying products is crucial in getting the most from pesticides and this is becoming more important with the spread of weed and pest resistance against key actives.

But it’s not just about achieving maximum efficacy, being a sprayer operator is a very highly skilled job calculating tank mixes, being aware of the many rules and regulations, and following best practice to minimise drift or safely dispose of the empty containers.

Now in its 31st year, the Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year award, organised by Syngenta and Farmers Weekly, recognises this professional approach and the fact that many operators go beyond what is required with their dedication and innovation.

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 in with a chance of winning – just like last year’s winner, George Sargent, who sprays the 610ha of wheat, barley and oilseed rape for JG Fisher at Hatcliffe, near Grimsby.

What you can win

For the overall winner, the top prize is an expenses-paid study tour to France, plus the coveted Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year trophy.

The first 50 correct entries will receive a free ticket to Cereals 2014, incorporating Sprays and Sprayers, on 11 and 12 June.

Judges will also select eight regional finalists, who each receive an expenses-paid trip for two to Cereals. All you have to do is complete the online form or print off the form and post it – so why not get writing now.

Complete the online form

Download the pdf