Skills and ideas bring success for youngest finalist
While at 25 Angus Russell was the youngest finalist, he says he has learned a lot in the past five years, spraying 400ha of arable crops at the family’s Toft Farm, Kites Harwick, near Rugby. To this he adds a further 400ha of contracting.
Angus’ workload is set to expand when spraying is included in the joint venture arrangement he set up with a close neighbour. “We both realised the cost of equipment was making it almost unaffordable for our size of operations. I currently use a 24m Sands Vision 3,000 litre sprayer. But in July we will changing to a new, 32m Fendt Rogator, with individual nozzle control,” he explains.
After returning home from college Angus set to work on upgrading the spray store and filling area. “I looked into what was required and realised a new purpose-built building would be best and cover us for the future. This is fully insulated, includes a chemical store and is completed bunded. All liquids drain into a storage tank and, along with washings, are treated through a biofilter.
“I love spraying,” he says. “It’s the best way to walk the crops, I’m quite particular and like doing things precisely – which makes it’s a very satisfying job.”
Angus’ top tip is to place two pieces of tape on his reversing camera screen, which align with his rear wheels. “This means when I am backing into corners I don’t have to look in my mirrors, I just line up the marks on the screen with the tramlines and the wheels match perfectly every time,” he says.
He also uses an iPad in the cab to receive the recommendations from different clients and agronomists. “It’s better than having – or losing – lots of bits of paper, because everything is in one place. I can then fill in my spraying records and then send back to the customer or agronomist, along with what we have used and what’s left in the shed.”