The FFSG has five research teams located in five contrasting regions of Scotland that individually provide a focus for loca/regional networks while collectively representing a broad cross-section of farming systems and their situations of national and international relevance.
Located on south side of Edinburgh and led by Carol-Anne Duthie
This facility includes the 1000Ha Bush estates, comprising hill, upland and lowland grazings, woodland and arable land. The Centre is home to the £2.8m 'GreenCow' facility, which features state-of-the-art equipment to accurately measure a range of ruminant livestock inputs and outputs, in particular relating methane output to a wide range of other animal data and characteristics. 'GreenCow' will provide the world with a better understanding of agriculture's contribution to climate change and how this might best be mitigated while ensuring that the growing demand for food is met.
Based at SRUC headquarters in Edinburgh but involved in experimental work and knowledge exchange throughout SRUC and beyond. It is led by Dr Bob Rees and supports research, learning and consultancy activities to help food producers reduce their carbon emissions.
Key features include the measurement and modelling of greenhouse gas emissions from a range of farming systems and an innovation and behavioural change research team in collaboration with the Land Economy and Environment Research Group. There is also a consultancy/translational research initiative with SAC's Consultancy Division. The Carbon Management Centre is a key player in a wide range of projects of international significance, including the Greenhouse Gas Platform, ClimateXChange and an agreement with Nanjing Agricultural University to form a joint Low Carbon Agriculture Centre.
Located in Dumfries and led by Dr Mizeck Chagunda
It utilises over 300Ha of prime grass and forage crop land centred on Crichton Royal farm. There are 450 cows plus followers of contrasting genetic background, monitored closely for many years for their performance on alternative support systems. The crops and soils on the farm are also closely monitored, particularly for their environmental impacts. These resources together provide unique insights into the dynamics of modern dairy farming and hence into the best opportunities for the future.
Located in Inverness and led by Professor George Gunn
Typifying the FFSG ethos, it has strong links with the local academic, business, veterinary and farming communities while also conducting research of international profile in the epidemiology and economics of farm animal health. The work uses data driven and modelling approaches to identify best practice in disease prevention and control and then follows through to application for example via the Premium Cattle Health Scheme, Pig Health Scheme and 'Paraban' project. Professor Gunn also leads 'EPIC', the Scottish Government's Centre of Expertise on reducing the impact of animal disease outbreaks.
Located near Crianlarich and led by Prof Davy McCracken
The resource includes 2,600 ha of land ranging from high quality and productive grazing to high altitude (over 1,000 m) semi-natural habitats of high conservation value within the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Here the focus is on understanding and developing sustainable farming systems that enhance the environmental, ecological, agricultural and amenity value of these challenging regions that are so characteristic of Scotland and other vast areas of land throughout the world.