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Dairy Research Centre

The Dairy Research Centre is based at Crichton Royal Farm, Dumfries. It aims to develop, implement and provide information from 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 different systems’ effects on the environment.

Dairy systems research is performed with the Langhill pedigree herd, selected since 1970 as a high genetic merit line and a control line. These cattle are on two distinctly different management systems; a home-grown forage system and a by-products system relying on purchased feed. In the Homegrown system, all the ingredients in the cows’ diet are grown on the Crichton Farm. The By-product system can be regarded as a landless system, influenced by global climate conditions affecting the crops from which the by-products are sourced.

Associated research work includes:

  • Dairy cow and young-stock nutrition
  • Energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Examination of soil compaction
  • Nutrient profile

The Dairy Research Centre Team

Prof Richard Dewhurst

Head of Dairy Research & Innovation Centre, Professor of Ruminant Nutrition & Production Systems


Dr Paul Hargreaves

Grassland Researcher


Dr Holly Ferguson

Precision Dairying Scientist


Research Technicians

  • Ainsley Bagnall
  • John Dickinson
  • Isla McCubbin