The Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year (FSOOTY) 2023 competition is now open for entries. It recognises the best practice in sprayer operation and provides an opportunity to share experiences and advance learning.
Syngenta application specialist Scott Cockburn said that the competition is rewarding for everyone to enter and great fun to be involved in. “Everyone who enters has the same application challenges and frustrations, so there’s a huge amount to gain from sharing the solutions. One thing repeated every year is that entrants find they learn something new from other operators and can improve the way they work.
“Previous FSOOTY finalists remain firm friends and continue to share experiences, long after the competition is over.”
It gives sprayer operators recognition for their important role in the industry, as well as enhancing their professional development. All finalists win a trip for two to Cereals 2023 and are presented with their awards in the Sprays & Sprayers Arena.
The overall winner also receives a study tour to Agritechnica, held in Hanover, Germany.
Commenting on the role of FSOOTY, NFU deputy president and Essex farmer, Tom Bradshaw, said: “We know there is an ever greater scrutiny on the way we use plant protection products. It’s absolutely critical that we can demonstrate professionalism right through our industry.
“The competition is such a great opportunity for operators to demonstrate the ways that they maximise efficacy, the way they look after the environment and why they should be the Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year.”
“There’s a great feeling of pride that goes with winning,” according to FSOOTY 2022 winner, Steve May. “Being recognised for working to a high standard of professionalism and competence was extremely rewarding for me.
“My initial goal was to test myself, to learn from others and to benchmark myself against other professional operators, as well as to keep moving forward and learning more. FSOOTY is a great way to learn from others, and to share your experiences.”
Mr May advocated for more sprayer operators to join the competition to improve their knowledge and continue to move spraying systems forward.
Those interested can enter the competition through the Syngenta website, through Ei Operator – a dedicated application advice website, or at the Syngenta stand at Lamma 2023. Entries close on the 11th of January.
Farmers and agronomists can also nominate operators for the awards and entering automatically gains NRoSO points.