Solutions Development Manager, Syngenta
Jason has 20 years of industry and application technology experience; 11 of those with Syngenta.
Jason’s role involves developing agronomic solutions that meet growers’ needs, extending technical knowledge and building agronomic capability within the industry, and managing Syngenta’s Learning Centres.
He has extensive experience in assessing the impact of application technology on the performance of crop protection products.
Jason’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture and a Graduate Diploma in Education. He is also AgCredited through the Australian Institute of Ag Science and Technology.
Jason is currently chairman of the CropLife Herbicide Resistance Management Review Group, and a committee member of the Australian Glyphosate Sustainability Working Group and National Integrated Weed Management Initiative. Jason’s specialisations include extension and training on non-selective herbicides, herbicide resistance and application technology.
As a SPRAY Awards judge, Jason is looking for entrants who demonstrate all round best practice. This includes well maintained modern equipment combined with productive and responsible filling, handling and storage facilities, complemented by sound operator knowledge and skills, and importantly, the right attitude to spraying safety, record keeping and protection of the environment.
Trainer/Assessor, ChemCert Training Group
Jonathan has extensive experience in the agricultural industry gained over nearly 20 years of managing farms. He has been a course developer, trainer and assessor with ChemCert since 2009.
Jonathan’s extensive knowledge and experience in chemical training is highly sought after across Australia. He has experience in presenting customised courses to specialist groups such as the spray nozzle/drift application module for Reef Protection officers in Mackay, Queensland, and he was responsible for ChemCert Training Group’s validation, moderation and benchmarking initiatives in NSW, Queensland and South Australia.
Jonathan was involved with the South Australian Groundsprayers Association 2011 Industry Workshop and is a member of the GRDC/CRDC Spray Drift Projects Steering Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Lincoln University in Christchurch, a Graduate Diploma in Management from Otago University in Dunedin and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
This is Jonathan’s first year as part of the SPRAY Awards judging panel. Jonathan is looking for entrants with a well-rounded spray applicator’s skill set who are focussed on continuous improvement, including analysing weather forecasts and later measuring them against actual in-field observations and spray records. He says entrants must be proactive in work health and safety practice and innovative in embracing new or existing technology. They must also adopt best management practice in environmental stewardship and waste management.
Dr Andrew Hewitt
Director, University of Queensland Centre for Pesticide Application and Safety, Gatton, QLD
Dr Hewitt holds a PhD in ground spray technology and an MSc in aerial spray technology. He currently runs a spray application technology centre at University of Queensland, conducting research and training for spray-related work for diverse clients.
Dr Hewitt is passionate about application technology and the need for optimised spraying. In this year’s competition he is looking for someone who is keen to use the best available application systems for their specific application needs – not necessarily the most expensive sprayer or nozzles, but rather the best spraying technique for their application type which might be a focus on how and when to spray (and when not to spray) to achieve top performance.
Dr Hewitt first became involved in the SPRAY Awards as a judge in the 2010 competition.
Science and environment writer, Rural Press
Matt gained hands-on experience with agricultural spraying in broadacre farming in WA and NSW.
He hopes that this year’s competition will highlight best practice in the field and provide some positive stories about how spray applicators are using the best technology and information available to improve their performance.
He’s looking for entrants who can demonstrate an advanced understanding of how to maximise the benefits and minimise the negatives of spraying.
Matt has been a SPRAY Awards judge since 2011.