Amenity Sprayer Operator of the Year open for entries 2023

Mark Sandersonin Industry News

The search is on to recognise the UK's most professional sprayer operators in the sports turf, amenity and landscape management industries. The Amenity Sprayer Operator of the Year (ASOOTY) awards highlight best practice and experience in the challenging role of ensuring accurate application on all amenity surfaces.

Sponsored by ICL and Syngenta and managed by the Amenity Forum, the awards seek to share top tips and advice that will raise the standards of spray application across the amenity industry.

The finalists and winner will be announced and presented at the prestigious BIGGA Awards ceremony at BTME in January 2024, with prizes worth over £500. All ASOOTY applicants will also be entered into a competition to win one of five Syngenta Sprayer Calibration & Application Kits. BASIS CPD points for participating in the awards have been applied for.

The skills of sprayer operators to make efficient, effective and above all safe applications is essential for the future sustainability of the amenity and turf care industry. ASOOTY awards are a welcome way to recognise and reward the leading individuals and to learn from their experience.

Along with assessing operators' skills of spray application and use of products, the ASOOTY awards also now reflect the importance of an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to any issues involving turf and landscape maintenance.

Announcing the opening of the ASOOTY 2023 awards at SALTEX (1-2 November), Syngenta Technical Manager, Sean Loakes, said: "Sprayer operation is a key factor in the success of every application, including elements of nozzle choice, water volume and fine tuning the sprayer to more effectively hit the intended target.

"However, for the best possible results, today's professional sprayer operators must also fully understand the wider aspects of why an application is being made, and what other integrated options they can also employ for better long-term management of potential problems.

"Knowing when not to spray is in many ways as important as the techniques to actually make an application," he advised.

ICL Landscape & Industrial Business Manager, Lewis Blois, added: "We are delighted to support such an important cross-sector industry initiative with a continued commitment to raise standards and improve results.

"Importantly it has identified and recognised the range of spray application techniques and the differing skills involved across the amenity sector. It will provide a unique and vitally important resource for all involved in spray application."

This year the entry process aims to test sprayer operators' broader knowledge of issues and solutions faced across the amenity sector through an initial on-line question form. Lewis explained entrants are not expected to know the answers to all the questions, however the entry form will help the judging panel to assess an individual's experience and approach to dealing with challenges.

"The entry process itself will stimulate thought and understanding of the challenging issues around application across the sports turf, amenity and industrial land management industries, including the need to create integrated solutions using a full range of tools and tactics. We're looking to find operators that can make those important proactive decisions with every application," he added.