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.

We have effective research links with agritech companies, many of which are based in Scotland, particularly through our leading role in the UK agricultural engineering and precision innovation centre Agri-EPI Centre (


Below you'll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about the Beef and Sheep Research Centre.

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Research services

Our work addresses health and productivity in animals, animal welfare and crops, promotes low carbon farming and increases farm output through efficiency and innovation.

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Vet & laboratory services

Our leading experts provide support to clients in areas animal disease, diagnosis and surveillance.

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SAC Consulting

Our consultants in 25 offices across Scotland and northern England turn research into advice and advantage for business and public sector alike.

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