Horticultural agronomist wins Paul Singleton Award

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Agrii horticultural agronomist Emma Smith has been named the winner of the esteemed Paul Singleton Award, which honours outstanding contributions to crop protection projects.

Presented at Cereals 2024 by BASIS and sponsored by Frontier, this award recognises outstanding achievement in the research component of the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection course.

Her research focused on evaluating the effectiveness of five plant protection products with physical modes of action in controlling Tetranychus spp. spider mites on cherries grown under temporary protection. Emma trained with GrowTrain and under the guidance of Debbie Wedge.

After graduating in 2020 from Nottingham Trent University, Emma became Assistant Growing Manager at S&A Produce, managing 35 hectares of strawberries. She then worked as a Growing Technician at Lower Hope Fruit, overseeing nearly 50 hectares of various fruits. Less than a year ago, Emma joined Agrii’s Horticultural Agronomy team in the West Midlands, calling it an unmissable opportunity.

Emma commenced her BASIS in Commercial Horticulture while working her notice period at Lower Hope, with the farm allowing her to conduct trials on their property. This hands-on experience played a crucial role in her award-winning project.

Andrew Lazenby, CEO of BASIS, praised Emma’s achievement: “Emma Smith exemplifies the dedication and innovative spirit that the Paul Singleton Award aims to recognise. Her journey from a determined student to an accomplished agronomist is truly inspiring. Emma’s project reflects a deep understanding of crop protection and a commitment to advancing horticultural practices.”

The Paul Singleton Project of the Year Award, introduced in 2014, recognises exceptional candidates for their significant contributions to crop protection projects. The award honours projects that demonstrate significant crop protection content, personal practical involvement, and original research.

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