Over 40 Ground-Breaking Research Projects Highlighted in New SRUC Publication

Over 40 ground-breaking livestock research projects are highlighted in a new publication from Scotland’s Rural Collage (SRUC) to promote agricultural innovation that can benefit producers and the wider industry.

The new Livestock Research booklet provides a great snapshot of some of the industry-leading work undertaken across SRUC. 

The research covers a broad range of subjects from all grass wintering of sheep to applications for technological sensors.

Robert Logan, Livestock Business Consultant with SAC Consulting and the publication’s editor, said: “The booklet highlights the breadth of resource and expertise at SRUC, while providing industry with an opportunity to gain ideas from other sectors and disciplines.

“It establishes a suit of useful and inspiring projects, which is a unique and up to date reference in an easy to read format.

“Contact details are provided for each project’s lead researcher and there’s also a signpost to additional information where possible.

“Relevant contact details within SAC Consulting are also included for those who want to discuss how something might apply on their own farm or supply chain.”

To coincide with the publication of the new booklet SAC Consulting have listed three of these featured projects that can have a ‘quick win’ difference on farm:

1.    Taking a Targeted Approach to Worming Lambs was a project completed at SRUC’s Hill and Mountain Research Centre. The savings and advantages of reduced reliance on wormer treatments, combined with the marketing advantage in weighing lambs and using EID tags for farm benefit, were stark. This will become standard practice in future.

2.    Alternative Growth Paths for Finishing Cattle was undertaken at SRUC Beef Research Centre. This revisited and quantified what was the best system of finishing cattle using today’s genetics and prices. It substantiated that quicker finishing systems retain an economic advantage over extensively finished cattle.

3.    Feeding of Fresh Grass to Housed Dairy Cows was undertaken at SRUC Dairy Research Centre. It found that 50% fresh grass incorporated into a total mixed ration (TMR) for housed dairy cows had a net benefit to profitability. However, where this was reduced to only 25% of the TMR cost savings were lower than the value of the reduced milk yield.  Wetter summers and more housed cows, coupled with high feed costs, will make this a potentially attractive option but only if done properly and producers can learn from projects such as this. 

The new and refreshed research projects summarised predominantly cover beef, sheep and dairy projects recently completed or currently underway. Although the latest edition has extended coverage to feature some pig, poultry, carbon and livestock technology projects.

A hardcopy of the booklet will be available at events attended by SRUC over the next few months.

The content is also available on the SRUC website at: www.sruc.ac.uk/livestock-research

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