Stephen Jacob, BASIS CEO, explains that Eric has been awarded the prestigious title of BASIS Best Farmer of the Year. He was the highest performing farmer candidate from the selection of Barrie Orme Shield nominees, and his passion for farming, innovative thinking and attention to detail shone through in every aspect of the course.

Eric enrolled in the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection course at the University of Lincoln to broaden his agricultural knowledge and develop his agronomical understanding, for the benefit of his business.

“In this day and age, I think it’s increasingly important that arable farmers are more aware of their practices, and they shouldn’t be solely reliant on their agronomist. The training has allowed me to work alongside my agronomist to make informed decisions as a team,” says Eric.

He adds that he particularly enjoyed undertaking the project component of the course.

“My project focused on the outcome of introducing Avadex (Tri-allate) to a blackgrass control strategy in winter oilseed rape, which was particularly pertinent due to winter OSR recently being removed from the product label.

“As a result, I evaluated the available products in the armoury for blackgrass control, and was able to prove that Avadex is a vitally important herbicide to tackle such a persistent weed in oilseed rape crops, and its loss to growers is significant,” he says.

Julian Little, head of communications and government affairs at Bayer Crop Science explains that the company sponsored Eric’s prize – an all-expenses paid trip to the Oxford Farming Conference.

“Eric’s thirst for knowledge and drive for change helped him to win the award, and teamed with the inspirational conference experience, he plans to build on his learning and take his BASIS project one step further,” says Julian.

He is also hoping to present his findings to Gowan, the Avadex manufacturer, to demonstrate the need to include winter OSR on the label again. This would be of great interest to the industry, due to the blackgrass challenge that farmers face.

For more information on BASIS please visit www.basis-reg.co.uk or contact 01335 343945.