Dairy Research & Innovation Centre

  • Glencaple Road, SRUC Crichton Royal Farm

    DG1 4AS Dumfries

    United Kingdom

Organization profile

Organisation profile

The SRUC Dairy Research & Innovation Centre is based at Crichton Royal Farm, Dumfries. It aims to develop, implement and disseminate information about sustainable breeding and management systems for dairy cows. Critical objectives include finding ways to improve the health and welfare of UK dairy herds and measuring the effects of different systems on the environment.

Dairy systems research uses the Langhill pedigree herd, selected since 1970 as a high genetic merit line maximising milk solids yield and a control line matching national average production. Half of the cows from each genetic line are managed on a Standard Energy diet (around 1.5 tonnes of concentrates per cow per annum) and the rest on a High Energy diet (around 4.5 tonnes of concentrates per cow per annum).

Associated research work includes:

  • Precision dairying – robotics, automation, imaging and sensing technologies for cow productivity, welfare and health;
  • Calf management and health – state-of-the-art facilities for recording feeding and growth, as well as development of health monitoring systems;
  • Dairy cow and young-stock nutrition, including work on legume forages and other protein sources, Nitrogen efficiency and rumen function;
  • Biodiversity, resource use efficiency  and greenhouse gas emissions from alternative dairy management systems, crop growth and nutrient additions, including pioneering work using the laser methane detector for estimating methane emissions;
  • Examination of soil compaction effects on grassland sward yield and quality and developing soil health assessments; investigation of controlled traffic systems as part of precision farming for grassland to reduce soil compaction and improve yields;
  • Economic performance of contrasting management methods is assessed alongside production and environmental outcomes to determine trade-offs between the dairy system groups.

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

dairy cows Agriculture & Biology
cows Agriculture & Biology
rumen Agriculture & Biology
milk production Agriculture & Biology
milk Agriculture & Biology
grass silage Agriculture & Biology
dairies Agriculture & Biology
odd chain fatty acids Agriculture & Biology

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No photo of Ruairidh Bain

Ruairidh Bain

Person: Academic contract that is research only

Photo of Richard Dewhurst

Richard Dewhurst

Person: Academic contract that is research only

Photo of Holly Ferguson

Holly Ferguson

Person: Academic contract that is research only


Projects 2012 2022

Research Output 1992 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Conceptual framework underpinning management of soil health - supporting site-specific delivery of sustainable agro-ecosystems

Stockdale, EA., Griffiths, BS., Hargreaves, PR., Bhogal, A., Crotty, FV. & Watson, CA., May 2019, In : Food and Energy Security. 8, 2, 18 p., e00158.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
conceptual framework
landscape ecology

Effect of antibiotic treatments on dairy cow methane production, milk yield and dry matter intake

Hargreaves, PR., March, MD. & Dewhurst, RJ., 9 Apr 2019, Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science: Animal Science Fit for the Future. 1 ed. Vol. 10. 1 p. 85. (Advances in Animal Biosciences).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

methane production
dry matter intake
milk yield
dairy cows
1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Farmer-preferred traits in smallholder dairy farming systems in Tanzania

Chawala, AR., Banos, G., Peters, A. & Chagunda, MGG., Jul 2019, In : Tropical Animal Health and Production. 51, 6, p. 1337-1344 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
dairy farming
farming systems
feed requirements