Farmer wins Paul Singleton Award

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Farmer, Gerard Wynn, has been awarded the esteemed Paul Singleton Award, sponsored by Frontier, for outstanding performance in the BASIS certificate in crop protection IPM project.

Looking at the performance of sprayer nozzles and the amount of spray drift in different field conditions, the project is very relevant to today, with a focus both on the effects of drift on cropped and non-cropped areas.

The project is a fundamental element of the certificate in crop protection certification, requiring significant crop protection content, personal practical involvement and original research. Gerard Wynn’s project was selected from the top five scoring projects and judged by a panel of BASIS exam chairs following second marking and moderation.

Environmental friendly farming PhD 

Mr Wynn has an agricultural economics background, completing a masters and PhD in environmentally friendly farming nearly 20 years ago. Since then he has worked at Reuters news agency as a journalist and analyst covering energy and climate change, and more recently has worked as a consultant financial analyst with a variety of think-tanks. That all changed when he took over Watcombe farm in West Dorset in 2018. Now he is focused on analysis and practice with the aim of making his farm work for food, people and nature.

‘I am really interested in looking at how to protect the environment on farm and how to use plant protection products efficiently, so that was the focus of my project’ he said.

The award was presented by Richard Fenwick, BASIS Chairman, at this year’s Cereals event. Gerard completed his training with octopus agronomy who also joined the presentation, ‘Gerard wrote a very practical project looking at the performance of crop spray nozzles and the amount of spray drift in field conditions. The drift was investigated not only in the crop but also surrounding non crop areas where any environmental effects can be severe. The results demonstrated that pesticides applied with the correct nozzles and weather conditions will not cause harm to susceptible species.’

Technical training is key

Charlie Whitmarsh, crop production director for Frontier Agriculture, who sponsored this year’s award said: “We are pleased to support BASIS with the Paul Singleton award. We see technical and innovation training as key to ensuring we have the expertise required to develop crop production solutions for farmers. Many congratulations to Gerald for his very interesting project, certainly a worthy winner.”

Speaking of receiving the award, Mr Wynn said: ‘I really enjoyed the training and couldn’t have done it without the support of the trainers. BASIS is a good initiative, and I will be using my newfound knowledge every day on farm. This award is very important to me as I embark on my journey’. Gerard aspires to achieve his FACTS qualification this autumn.

For more information on BASIS training courses, please visit www.basis-reg.co.uk or contact a member of the team on 01335 343945 or help@basis-reg.co.uk.

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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.