Gloria Endredi’s project was selected from the top five scoring submissions and judged by a panel of BASIS exam chairmen.
The winning project examined how different water volumes penetrated the canopy and fruit cluster. She concluded that a blue hollow cone nozzle with a medium droplet spectra at 500 L/ha should be the recommended application method for table grapes.
Endredi’s training was organised by Dianne Quested at Mid Kent Training, and lead trainer for the course was Debbie Wedge from Chelmsford & West Essex Training Group.
She has worked at NIAB EMR, in East Malling, Kent, for the past seven years, and has spent the past six months developing skills acquired during her BASIS qualification. Having completed the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection (Commercial Horticulture), she hopes to continue her learning by completing further BASIS qualifications, including the BASIS Diploma.
On receiving the award, Endredi said: "The BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection course was a huge learning curve, particularly for someone at the beginning of their horticultural career. The project formed a large part of the work required. The course was an ideal opportunity to interact with experienced and knowledgeable people. I am incredibly proud of my achievement and the win was completely unexpected."
The Paul Singleton Project of the Year Award was introduced by BASIS in autumn 2014 to recognise the outstanding input that many candidates apply to their project, which is a fundamental element of the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection. The project requires significant crop protection content, personal practical involvement and original research.
Stephen Jacob, BASIS chief executive, said: "This is the second year we have made a presentation for the best project submitted as part of the Certificate in Crop Protection. The standard of projects was extremely high and all aspects of the report, including subject choice, technical accuracy, and design were taken into consideration when deciding the overall winner."
Endredi added: "The project provided me with an opportunity to work in an area that I was relatively unfamiliar with. The novelty of the topic was exciting, and grapes are an interesting subject in the UK due to the implications of climate change and its effects on crop growth. The investigation of the effect of water volume and droplet size is a relatively unexplored area with a bright future. The results may provide an opportunity to make recommendations on vineyard spraying in the future. I am looking forward to applying the skills and knowledge that I gained from the course to my job."
Patrick Mitton, BASIS Education and Training Committee Chairman, said: "Table grapes offer a unique challenge in gaining even spray coverage. Gloria established some key outputs in her trial work in relation to droplet size, speed of application, water volume and coverage across different parts of the plant. Given the increasing interest and number of grape growers in England, Gloria's project offers practical and tangible outputs. The BASIS project judges were impressed by Gloria's excellent presentation of the issues, challenges and trial results in her winning project. "
Gordon Flint was crowned the runner up in the Project of the Year award for his Assessment of Clopyralid use for Control of Creeping Thistle in Cut Flower Peony. The project assessed the effect of spot treatments of clopyralid when applied to cut flower peony crops in July to September 2015 and survival of treated creeping thistle when assessed in October and December 2015, and January 2016.