The NFU has paid tribute to its pesticides adviser Dr Neil Kift who was tragically killed in a traffic accident in Warwickshire last week.

Dr Kift joined the NFU in 2004 and was its principal policy advisor on pesticide and integrated crop management issues as they impact on farming practice and the environment.

He was responsible for representing members’ interests through the development of pesticide and environmental policies and liaising with relevant European bodies, government departments, agencies and NGOs.

He worked with NFU staff and members to improve the environmental impact of members’ use of pesticides. He was also an inspirational figure in driving forward the Voluntary Initiative on the responsible use of pesticides.

Dr Kift was a rugby fan, he loved the outdoors and was a member of the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. He leaves a wife, Kirsty, and a nine-month-old son.

Richard Macdonald, director general of the NFU, said: “Neil will be missed hugely by his colleagues at the NFU and by those who knew and worked with him. He was extremely well liked and respected throughout the research community and the agricultural industry. Losing him has been a tragic and devastating blow.

“Our thoughts are with Neil’s wife and family.”