BCPC Awards recognise crop protection contributions

30th Nov 2012

BCPC recognises contributions in academic research, pesticide regulations and knowledge transfer to benefit crop production with this year’s BCPC Awards. Since its inception in 1985, BCPC has been pleased to present some 50 BCPC awards. This year the three recipients were: Dr Bob Froud-Williams, Mike May and David Richardson. BCPC Chairman, Dr. Colin Ruscoe presented the awards on the first day of AAB’s conference ‘Crop Protection in Southern Britain’ held at the Peterborough Arena, 27-28 November 2012.

On learning of his award Bob Froud-Williams said, “It is a great honour and privilege to be nominated for a BCPC award. The majority of my career has been concerned with education and I feel fortunate that I have been able to advance the importance of Weed Science both at home and abroad. I owe a great debt of gratitude to the students that I have supervised and to the many colleagues within the agricultural industry with whom I have collaborated, thereby contributing to our knowledge of weeds in temperate and warm-season cropping systems.”

Bob began his scientific career at the former Agricultural Research Council Letcombe Laboratory, before joining the Weed Research Organisation (WRO). In 1984 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Weed Science, at The University of Reading. His research interests have focussed on weeds of cool temperate, warm season and tropical crops, weed population biology and ecology, integrated weed management and agri-environment issues. As well as supervising postgraduate students he has authored or co-authored over 180 original papers in peer reviewed journals and international conferences.

Bob became president of The European Weed Research Society (EWRS) in 2003 and has sat on several committees including: BCPC Expert Weeds and Defra Sustainable Arable Link. He has also been chairman of the UK Weed Liaison Group, representing public funded Weed Science in the UK. He served on the AAB Weeds and Agronomy Committee and has chaired conference sessions for the AAB and BCPC including the BCPC Weed Review.

During his career Mike May has worked at the Weed Research Organisation (WRO), where he ran the Fenland project and promoted the importance of knowledge transfer in agricultural research. He moved onto head the sugar beet, spray application and environmental work at the Norfolk Agricultural Station where he also encouraged agronomist and grower training.

In 1997 Mike joined Broom’s Barn Research Centre as head of knowledge transfer and later became Deputy Director. He worked to disseminate BBRO-funded research, led the agronomy aspects of the government’s Farm Scale Evaluations and worked on the environmental impacts of GMHT crops

“It is a great honour to receive this award for the contribution that I have tried to make to UK crop production. The UK farming industry makes good use of research and efficient knowledge transfer is vital to ensure farmers and advisers are aware of new developments. Whilst the UK research base has been eroded in recent years, it is good to see a high standard of new recruits coming into agriculture to provide the industry with the ability to meet the future challenges adminand ensure UK farmers remain at the forefront of modern sustainable farming.”

Mike was a session organiser at many BCPC Brighton Weed Conferences and chaired the 1999 BCPC Weed Review. He was Chairman of the AAB Weed and Agronomy Group from 1991 to 1997, has authored over 250 popular reports, research papers and book chapters and has been quoted frequently in the agricultural press. He now has his own consultancy advising on sugar beet and weed control issues and is currently chairman of the joint BBRO/BSPB sugar beet recommended list board.

David Richardson joined ADAS as an entomologist in 1980 undertaking field trials and advisory work. In 1989 he moved to the Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD), which is now the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD). David was responsible for evaluating efficacy data submitted to support product approvals, including consideration and development of resistance management strategies. With increasing harmonisation of the regulatory process across Europe, David played an active role in the development of European guidance for efficacy evaluation, representing the UK at the EPPO Working Party and on Technical Panels.

On receiving his award David said, “I am absolutely delighted to have been recognised by BCPC for its 2012 award, and also surprised given I did not think regulators were considered to contribute productively to crop protection! I am sure a large part is due to the work raising the awareness, both in the UK and in Europe, of the consequences on crop protection product availability of the draft proposed legislation for the regulation of plant protection products to replace the much loved EC 91/414. I have to thank also colleagues in CRD for their part in that, and of course CRD management for allowing me to do it.

Recently David has worked with EPPO on the development of guidance for efficacy evaluation under the zonal system, and is involved in data evaluation, training and consultancy work on pesticide efficacy.

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