Brixworth Farming’s Mark Jelley has been crowned as this year’s Syngenta Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year (FSOOTY). Announced in the Sprays & Sprayers Arena at Cereals 2023 in Nottinghamshire today (13 June), the prestigious FSOOTY title seeks to recognise and reward the skills and expertise of the UK’s top operators.
Mark Jelley is the lead sprayer operator at Brixworth Farming in Northamptonshire. He has been operating sprayers for 45 years and now uses a state-of-the-art Chafer Interceptor self-propelled sprayer to work across 1,500 hectares of combinable crops on the farm’s own land, plus an additional 500 hectares of contract farming.
In addition to his knowledge and attention to optimise every application, the judges exemplified Mark’s approach to progressing the skills of his fellow operators on the farm. That included sharing information and best practice to ensure they are all working in the same way, which leads to consistently better results.
“Having been a previous finalist I was keen to give it another go,” Mark reported. “The FSOOTY questions make you think, so it’s a good learning experience too.”
“Entering FSOOTY is a good way to measure and further your knowledge, and to keep on learning.” He undertakes frequent work-based training, as well as taking every opportunity to increase his knowledge in his own time.