British farming loses passionate plantsman

Written by John Swire from Farm Business

A tragic accident last week (August 4) claimed the life of influential and passionate forage and environmental seeds specialist, Brendan Paul.

Trained as a botanist, he counted himself fortunate to have been involved in growing plants throughout his long and distinguished career – spanning grass and fodder crops in Europe and the Middle East, vegetable seeds in East Africa, and environmental mixtures and biogas feedstocks across the UK.

Brendan joined the Dalgety seeds team in the late 1990s, having worked with Nickersons and Perryfields. His unrivalled knowledge of forage crops has inspired and guided growers and advisers the length and breadth of the country, both through his national management roles and work with key industry bodies.

A man of action more than words, his understanding of maize was encyclopaedic. He was providing practical advice on cover cropping long before most people had even heard of regenerative agriculture. His creativity with forage and environmental mixtures was second-to-none. And he still found time to help an American rose breeder introduce thornless roses to the UK.

“Brendan’s intelligence, technical knowledge, marketing skills and no-nonsense approach have benefitted so many people,” said Agrii seed director, Lee Robinson. “He will be sorely missed by all the many friends and colleagues within our business and beyond he has supported, advised and assisted over the years, as well as fondly remembered for the sartorial elegance of his colourful blazers.

“Above all, he was a family man, and our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with his wife, Jo and daughters, Stephanie and Abigail at this extremely difficult time. They take some comfort and immense pride in the fact that three people have received organs donated by Brendan.”
A book of condolences has been opened at

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