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Plant and Animal Health

Plant and Animal Health

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.

Sector Contact

Case Studies

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

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

28 Feb 2022

Healthy cow, healthy milk? Identifying traits that are mutually beneficial to the cow and the consumer

Improvements in the health and productivity of livestock is key for the future sustainability of farming.

5 Oct 2021

Mountain heights, hidden depths – biodiversity and carbon in Scotland’s alpine soils

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 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.

31 Aug 2021

High and dry - Drought resilience in alpine vegetation and soils

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

Ecosystem resilience – Racomitrium heath

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

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. 

20 May 2021

Ecological Resilience – woodlands and tree pests/pathogens

Risk assessments of plant pests/pathogens rarely account for potential impacts on biodiversity associated with the affected host.

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.

26 Nov 2020

Developing a"Genetic Scorecard": A World-first for Scotland

The following case study summarises a SEFARI Think Tank involving the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and Scottish Natural Heritage.

30 Oct 2020

Antimicrobial resistance: bringing Scottish expertise together to find the solutions

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global, immediate and ongoing concern to human health.

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.

11 Sep 2020

Approaches to reducing potato waste by improving home storage and minimising greening

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

Making Worms Squirm: Sustainable Worm Control in Lambs through Precision Livestock Farming

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.

Pages

Blog

19 Aug 2022 - 13:09

Converting the Scottish One Health AMR register into an Online Resource

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest health-threats of modern time.

11 Feb 2022 - 09:30

Showcasing excellence: a celebration of some incredible SEFARI women

Here at SEFARI, we take pride in our partner institutes and their outstanding achievements in research and informing policy.

9 Feb 2022 - 17:25

A new Early Career Researcher Network dedicated to Parasitologists across Scotland

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.