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
22 Feb 2023
Which habitats are at greatest risk from plant pests and pathogens?
Plant pests and pathogens can have a devastating impact not only on plant hosts but also the wider biodiversity that use the infected plant (e.g., for food, breeding and shelter).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
BSAS Conference 2023
The British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) annual conference is one of the largest animal science events in the UK. This conference offers an opportunity for scientists, academics and farmers alike to participate in engaging discussion and debate surrounding issues at the heart of the industry.