James Irish joined Bretts as our Agronomist in 2013. James’ primary degree is in Agricultural Science and he also completed a research Masters in Crop Science, in the area of innovation and support in farm advisory. During his Masters he developed a widely adopted machinery cost calculator. At this time he worked as part of the Teagasc Tillage Advisory team based at the home of the national centre for arable crops research in Oak Park.
James is a registered pesticide advisor with the Department of Agriculture, an accreditation that relates directly to standards in the pesticide and crop protection industry. Within his portfolio James advises grain growers on best practice to maximise crop yields in a cost effective way, with the least impact on the environment. As well as offering advice to our tillage farmers, James also has input into the Ruminant Support Team in the area of soil fertility and spray programmes to improve productivity of grassland.
In 2017 James won the prestigious Seedtech Hybrid Barley Advisor of the Year Award when Bretts customer Jimmy Purcell won the Seedtech Hybrid Barley Grower of the Year award with his exceptional crop of 4.72 tons.
Brett’s have recently recruited Paul Colgan to the agronomy team as Assistant Agronomist. Paul, who is from Johnswell, Co. Kilkenny, joined the Brett’s team in July 2020 to manage harvest and seed production. Hailing from a dairy background, Paul has years of experience operating machinery and spraying crops while working for agricultural contractors. After a six-year spell on a tillage farm in Western Australia, Paul returned home to further his education and recently completed an honours degree in Agricultural Science in WIT. Paul is a qualified Pesticide Advisor and can guide farmers through the process of reseeding, weed control and fertiliser planning.