SEFARI provides the research needed to improve the efficiency and resilience of Scotland’s food production systems whilst protecting the environment and our rural communities. SEFARI works on improving our crop production systems, and reducing the impacts of plant disease. For livestock, work on animal characteristics and health and welfare leads to more efficient livestock production, which in turn reduces waste, lowers greenhouse gas emissions and improves global food security.
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Plant and Animal Health
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
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
5 Oct 2021
The alpine zone supports some of Scotland’s most natural habitats. Complex topography interacts with snow cover and climate to create gradients in water availability and temperature, resulting in a mosaic of plant communities variously dominated by dwarf-shrubs, grasses, or mosses.
9 Sep 2021
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is one of the world's most economically important food crops and holds major significance for future food security.
31 Aug 2021
The alpine zone supports some of our most natural habitats and provides ecosystem services including carbon storage, nutrient cycling and water quality.
29 Jul 2021
Racomitrium heath is a moss-dominated alpine habitat which is widespread and covers extensive areas in oceanic alpine regions. It is important for the rare bird species that it supports, and the ecosystem services it provides, including carbon storage and regulation of water quality.
9 Jun 2021
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.
20 May 2021
Risk assessments of plant pests/pathogens rarely account for potential impacts on biodiversity associated with the affected host.
18 Jan 2021
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
Control of plant diseases such as potato late blight relies heavily on the use of crop protection products such as fungicides.
16 Dec 2020
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.
26 Nov 2020
The following case study summarises a SEFARI Think Tank involving the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and Scottish Natural Heritage.
21 Oct 2020
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 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.
11 Sep 2020
Potato is the number one wasted household food by weight, estimated at over 700,000 tonnes and with a cost of £555M per annum in the UK. Nearly half of the fresh potatoes bought by UK householders are thrown away.
25 Aug 2020
Electronic identification (EID) tags have been compulsory in UK sheep flocks since 2010, and a decade after their introduction, can still be a controversial topic.
10 Jun 2020
Farming practices are evolving in response to intensification, diversification and climate change. As farm management has changed, pathogens of livestock have also adapted to optimise their reproduction and transmission opportunities.
11 Feb 2022 - 09:30
Here at SEFARI, we take pride in our partner institutes and their outstanding achievements in research and informing policy.
9 Feb 2022 - 17:25
The Moredun Research Institute (one of SEFARI’s members) alongside the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow are forming a new and exciting network, called Scottish Parasitology Partnership in Research, Innovation, and Training (SPPIRIT), to support Scotland’s eminent parasitology research.
4 Feb 2022 - 17:08
The climate emergency affects every part of our lives and collaboration within and across sectors is therefore key to addressing this crisis.