Soils & plants
SRUC's soil and agronomy research is centred on developing resilient crop and grassland systems for food, feed and fibre production. If we are to achieve global food security, it is imperative that we manage our soils and plant genetic resources in a sustainable manner. Our research supports teaching, consultancy and analytical services for sustainable land use. Our work links strongly to other themes including agricultural production systems and GHGs and environment.
Core areas of research are:
- soil health and quality
- cropping systems design including rotations
- crop genetics, quality and diversity
- nutrient management
- crop agronomy and protection
- integrated pest management
Looking to the future, there is not one simple design for crop production systems, and we work with many different approaches including conventional arable, low input arable, mixed farming, organic and regenerative systems.
We work with others across the UK but also have extensive collaborations in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.
Our soil and agronomy research is intended to underpin the development of resilient and sustainable systems of crop production that are economically viable, but also environmentally and socially acceptable.
Our areas of research and expertise include:
- Developing future land management practices based on understanding of soil health and function
- Approaches to crop protection which minimise agrochemical use and maximise the efficiency of the plant's inherent defences
- The role of genetics in diversifying food systems and supporting human nutrition
- Phenotype and genotype analysis for improved resource use efficiency
Novel crops and cropping system design
- Integrating diverse forages into arable production systems
- Understanding food safety risks in crop production
- Improving the sustainability of cropping systems by using models to understand the interactions between soils, crops and livestock
- Plant based proteins for food and feed
Scottish recommended lists for cereals
Recommendations are made by SRUC supported by the Scottish Variety Consultative Committee and are based on data collected as part of the AHDB Recommended List and Scottish Government National List system.
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