Scotland’s agriculture sector underpins Scotland’s high performing food and drink industry, is at the heart of our rural communities, and provides benefits to wider society. SEFARI provides the research needed for Scotland to improve the efficiency of good food production whilst protecting the environment, rural communities and animal welfare. This is done through developing tools (for example on disease control, welfare and genetics), research, and the capability to think about agriculture in a wider context. We also work with farmers and growers, processors, food companies, health professionals, nutritionists, and economists to find ways to put our research into practice.
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18 Aug 2022
Sustainable Roundworm Control - Getting the Message Across
In an ever-changing world, it is essential that individuals are able to access, and act upon, the most relevant information and advice, and no more so than in agriculture.
14 Jun 2022
Livestock Health and Greenhouse Gases: A SEFARI Specialist Advisory Group
A SEFARI Gateway-funded Specialist Advisory Group brought together a broad range of expertise across key industry stakeholders, Government Policy Leads and relevant SEFARI researchers to discuss livestock health and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), to prioritise health conditions that have the greatest impact on emis
19 Apr 2022
Net zero opportunities to mitigate agricultural emissions in the North East of Scotland
The Scottish Government has committed to legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2045. This will require a reduction across all sectors of the economy.
8 Apr 2022
Can open science aid the sustainable transition? Collaborative intercrop research with farmers highlights opportunities for data and knowledge sharing
Scotland has ambitious strategies for biodiversity protection and climate action with the intention of achieving a greener, fairer and just future.
22 Mar 2022
Anthelmintics and the Environment – opening a whole can of worms?
A SEFARI Specialist Advisory Group was established in response to concerns from livestock farmers and agro-ecologists about the adverse environmental impacts of some frontline livestock worming treatments, which reach the environment either in the dung/urine of treated animals or as a result of inappropriate disposa
14 Dec 2021
Exploring the potential of spatially referenced data to support the evolution of land-based policy in Scotland
The way we manage land and plan land-use change plays an integral role in the efforts for meeting climatic targets and for mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts.
9 Sep 2021
Potato tuber development and quality: Why do some potato varieties sprout more than others?
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is one of the world's most economically important food crops and holds major significance for future food security.
5 Jul 2021
Does lime application to pastures offer win-win benefits for food production and biodiversity?
In the UK the addition of lime to agricultural land was strongly encouraged by Government subsidy payments to farmers, but since subsidies ceased in the late 1970’s the application of lime has declined with subsequent acidification of many soils.
9 Jun 2021
Major weight loss in pregnant cows harms the development of their calves
Body condition scoring is a rapid way to assess fat coverage of livestock. In cattle it is scored on a 1 (lean) to 5 (obese) scale. Scottish beef cows typically gain body condition when grazing and lose some of this condition during the winter before calving in the spring.
27 Apr 2021
Should we graze the uplands of Scotland?
The continued grazing of the uplands is contentious as the goals of rewilding and farming/crofting often appear in conflict. Any changes to land use will result in cascading impacts through ecosystems, and decisions about land-use need to be informed by data to show that benefits will exceed the disbenefits.
26 Mar 2021
What is the cost of soil erosion in Scotland?
Sustainable soil management is a key component of several Scottish Government policies, including the Land Use Strategy, the Climat
18 Jan 2021
Liver fluke risk and Agri-environment Schemes: a Tale of Toads, Snails and Wetland Birds
In this case study, we describe field investigations of liver fluke risk to livestock associated with grazing under two different agri-environmental schemes and discuss best practice for conservation grazing and sustainable fluke control.
14 Jan 2021
New crop protection targets to control late blight
Control of plant diseases such as potato late blight relies heavily on the use of crop protection products such as fungicides.
16 Dec 2020
Integrated Pest Management: How widely have these management practices been adopted?
Arable crops like wheat and barley, are frequently under attack from diseases, weeds, insects and slugs. These lead to reductions in yield and affect the profitability of farms and the price of produce. To protect crops there is a heavy reliance on pesticides.
1 Dec 2020
Using Natural Capital Approaches to support sustainable land management in Scotland: Insights from five pilot studies
Natural capital approaches involve identifying, understanding, and measuring the relative contribution of nature to economic performance and human well-being. By adopting the language of business, natural capital approaches allow the natural environment to be included in discussions about business decisions.
16 Nov 2020
Assessing natural capital impacts and dependencies within upland farming systems
Natural capital underpins sustainability and refers to the stocks of natural resources, which include geology, soil, air, water, and all living things.
21 Oct 2020
The search for crop pathogens Achilles heels
Plant pathogens trigger changes in host plants that allow them to cause disease. Understanding which molecules pathogens use to do this (termed effectors), how they allow infection to take place, and how they are detected by plants has important implications for our understanding of plant disease.
6 Oct 2020
The impact of sustainable cropping on soil-borne diseases – a focus on Rhizoctonia solani AG3
The Centre for Sustainable Cropping (CSC) is a long-term experimental platform established to integrate all aspects of sustainability research on arable ecosystems. The CSC allows us to study crop management at a more integrated and system wide level and compare this to conventional crop husbandry practices.
22 Mar 2023 - 09:10
Wild plants and urban greenery…my experience at the RBGE
Delivering a sustainable food system is one of the key challenges of our generation and requires ambition to think beyond traditional production models.
31 Jan 2023 - 16:45
Healthy environment, healthy milk: Explore our virtual farm tour
Fineview, a dairy farm managed by the Clark family in Dumfries and Galloway, is part of the innovative First Milk dairy cooperative which aims to deliver healthy fresh milk on sound environmental principles.
15 Nov 2022 - 15:48
Vertical farming - is the sky the limit?
During COP26 the contribution of agriculture and food production to greenhouse gas emissions was discussed and, goals were set to tackle the global challenges of climate change.
Royal Highland Show 2023
One of Scotland’s most loved outdoor agricultural events, the annual Royal Highland Show highlights the best in farming, food and rural industry across Scotland.