A Kent sprayer operator has been named Syngenta Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year 2021 after impressing the judges with his attitude and top tip.
The prestigious award was presented to Luke Haynes, of Stevens Farm (Hawkhurst), near Cranbrook, at Cereals 2021, beating stiff competition from the other five finalists.
Mr Haynes carries out the spraying across 1,150ha of arable cropping, including wheat, oats, oilseed rape and beans.
He operates a Fendt Rogator 645 fitted with a 5,000-litre tank and 30m Pommier boom. Good logistical planning is key, with the land spread from Ashford to Tunbridge Wells – a 30-mile journey.
Syngenta application specialist and Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year judge Scott Cockburn says: “Luke stood out for his appreciation of how his role and the spraying activities integrated into the farm’s overall agronomy, decision-making and strategy.
“It really emphasised the vitally important part that the sprayer operator plays in ensuring the business meets its productivity and efficiency goals,” he says.
Mr Haynes’ top tip is: “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.”
- Steven Forbes – WH Gittins & Sons, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
- Tom Ingram – Sutton Cheney Farms Partnership, Nuneaton, Warwickshire
- Jonathan Legg – Ashton Farms, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
- Danny Milazzo – Drysdales, Cockburnspath, Berwickshire
- Josh Whitear – Netherley Farm Partnership, Waterlooville, Hampshire