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
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.
7 Feb 2020
Tail biting affects growing pigs in Scotland and around the world and has no simple solution. It begins in a sudden and unpredictable way, then spreads through a group.
4 Nov 2019
Sheep scab is a highly contagious disease caused by infestation with the mite Psoroptes ovis. It is endemic in the UK, notifiable in Scotland and has significant economic and welfare impacts.
3 Jun 2019
This case study is part of a series focusing on the importance of sustained funding for fundamental and strategic research. The first in this series summarises the research behind Barbervax®: a vaccine for the Barber’s Pole Worm, Haemonchus contortus.
6 Mar 2019
This case study will summarise ongoing research on Teladorsagia circumcincta, one of the most common and economically important endemic parasites to control in sheep in the UK.
17 May 2018
Blueberries have gained in popularity amongst UK consumers. Currently UK blueberries supply only 5% of demand and there is a huge opportunity to increase home grown supply.
1 Feb 2018
Arboviruses are transmitted by biting insects and cause disease in animals and humans. These viruses are spreading due to increased globalisation, international trade and travel and climate changes. Among these is bluetongue virus (BTV) transmitted by midges and causing fatal disease in sheep.
17 Nov 2017
SEFARI scientists make a significant contribution to the Scottish Government’s BVD Eradication Scheme. We inform this scheme through our unique and multi-disciplinary approach that uses epidemiological, economic, social science and molecular science to explore the wide-ranging implications of BVD.
12 Apr 2021 - 15:03
Zoonotic pathogens are microorganisms transmitted by animals, which cause disease and illness in humans. Many of them are foodborne and are commonly associated with farmed animals, or less frequently with wildlife.
27 Mar 2021 - 11:43
With the pandemic turning our lives upside down, the use of digital communication has accelerated overnight. Webinars, Teams meetings, Digital classrooms, Virtual brainstorming boards, to name but a few. They have all helped in keeping us connected from the safety of our own homes.
22 Mar 2021 - 11:19
The protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium is a significant cause of diarrhoeal disease in humans and animals in UK and many other countries across the world.