• Postal addressShow on map

    Easter Howgate Farm, Easter Howgate, Midlothian

    EH26 0PE

    United Kingdom

Organisation profile

Organisation profile

The Beef and Sheep Research Centre is based at SRUC’s Easter Howgate Farm, which lies within the Pentland hills ~8 miles south of the centre of Edinburgh. The total farms area of 1,013ha (approx. 2,500 acres) consists of:

  • 300 - 500 m - hill 656 ha (55 ha improved)
  • 250- 300 m - upland 152 ha improved
  • 150- 250 m - lowland 205 ha

This unique site is valuable for research, teaching and demonstration purposes, so that research, student practical’s and visits can be seen within the context of a range of realistic farming enterprises.


Our work covers developments in biology, engineering, finance and environmental performance in ruminant production systems. The Beef & Sheep Research Centre's current major focus is on improving feed conversion efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of beef cattle.  Although mainly concentrated on farm systems and our excellent facilities at Easter Howgate, our work extends into the food chain.

  • Our strength is in bringing together a range of biological and engineering skills to work with leading industry expertise and academic collaborators, both nationally and globally. Some of our work includes:
  • Animal imaging and sensing systems (precision livestock (or SMART) farming)
  • Biomarkers for animal performance, efficiency and health – for management or breeding
  • Measurement systems and proxies for greenhouse gas (particularly methane) emissions
  • Role of the rumen microbiome (microbial species and genes) in animal performance
  • Carcass and meat quality evaluations
  • Whole-farm/system modelling
  • Beef and sheep systems are at the heart of Scottish agriculture and our vision it to undertake strategic research that is strongly linked to application by farmers, as well as companies developing opportunities in the expanding global agritech market.


  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Genetics
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Cattle
  • calves
  • cows
  • sheep
  • ewes
  • lambs
  • farms
  • grazing
  • livestock
  • Scotland
  • sires
  • ruminants
  • meat quality
  • breeds
  • production technology
  • breeding programmes
  • livestock products
  • meat
  • beef
  • lamb
  • stakeholders
  • nutrition
  • diet
  • feed additives
  • carcass quality
  • rumen
  • methane
  • precision livestock farming
  • quantative genetics
  • climate change
  • genotype
  • agriculture
  • animal health
  • animal welfare
  • concentrates
  • forage
  • greenhouse gas emissions
  • smart farming
  • feed intake
  • feed efficiency
  • beef-from-dairy
  • animals
  • dry mater intake
  • carbot footprint
  • genomics
  • environment
  • sustainable farming
  • core microbiome
  • metagenomics
  • whole-metagenome sequencing
  • quantitative genetics

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


Dive into the research topics where Beef & Sheep Research Centre is active. These topic labels come from the works of this organisation's members. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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