14 June 2002

Finalists on parade for top nationwide contest

Who will win top honours in

the 2002 Syngenta/

farmers weekly Farm Sprayer

Operator of the Year

competition? The overall

champion will be announced

at Sprays & Sprayers at

12.30 on June 25. Here

John Allan profiles the

eight regional finalists

Chris Anstey – Shropshire

EACH year Chris Anstey of Hopton Farm, Nesscliffe, near Shrewsbury, does about 9713ha (24,000 acres) of spraying on combinable, potato and sugar beet crops over a 30-mile radius from the farm.

His usual machine is a Bateman 2500-litre (550gal) sprayer on a three-year contract, with two sets of wheels, 24m (79ft) air sleeve booms and three sets of nozzles.

Spraying is done at 12-14kph (7.4-8.7mph) using Billericay 03 nozzles for cereals, 025 nozzles for blight sprays and 02s on sugar beet. The air volume from the sleeve is adjusted minute by minute according to crop size and wind conditions and switched off if there is not enough crop cover to capture the air.

The farms new chemical store is set alongside a concrete filling area that has a pollution controlling underground catch tank and diverter valve, which sends rainwater to a separate outlet when filling is finished. A fast-fill water system fed from a water tank on the roof of the chemical store makes for a speedy turn round.