There are approximately 7 billion people and 1.4 billion cultivatable hectares on our planet currently. This area of land for farming is decreasing, mostly because of the aggressiveness of the human activities such as urbanization, excessive extraction of water and insufficient prevention against desertification.

This is leading, globally, to a reduction in the fertility of soil while the population continues to grow (with an estimated extra 2 to 2.5 billion additional mouths to feed by 2050). There will be a need for a substantial increase in agricultural production to balance this equation.

At SRUC we are ready to take part on the challenge.

Collaborations across the research base of SRUC and with other organisations ensure we are at the forefront of sustainable crop production technologies. The field trial service works across the organisation to deliver the data required by companies specialising in plant protection and seed development, agronomic techniques and the development of sustainable IPM strategies.

Crop trial service

Our team of highly trained scientists and technicians are ready to provide you with their expertise, research experience as well as a hands-on approach to the agricultural sciences.

Our field team is motivated to stay up-to-date through regular training, which enables the service to provide optimal performance while adapting to your specific needs.
SRUC’s crop trial service offers a network of three experimental satellite stations covering diverse regions and types of agriculture in Scotland.

Management and monitoring of quality is assured by a specific Quality Assurance group, all trials are under ORETO, ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 certification. Our use of farm equipment, as well as trials methodology, is under ongoing advancement and continual development to meet the changing needs of agricultural experiments. We maintain the strictest confidentiality for all company materials and activities managed by our Crop Trial Service.

Crop trial service in numbers

The crop trial service of SRUC is proud of its long experience working on field projects. Our ambition for the future is fuelled by the expertise of our staff as well as the trust of our sponsors.

  • 14 trial officers, 100 years of experiences

  • 3 units covering all arable cropping areas of Scotland

  • 40 commercial projects, 50 research projects

Potatoes field trials

Potatoes are central to the agricultural landscape of Scotland and we have an unrivalled depth of expertise in the production of this crop. Our trials teams cover all areas where potatoes are produced, both for seed and ware use.

We are proud to have been a part of the Potatoes EuroBlight fungicide rating programme for over 20 years. We can offer a unique trial site optimised for blight epidemic studies; our dedicated experts will help you to make the most of those exceptional conditions to test new developments in the control of this important disease.

Our connections with a wide range of supply chains and growers enable us to perform detailed studies on a wide range of the crop protection challenges that face potato growers. We are experienced in the full range of bacterial, fungal and virus diseases as well as nematode and insect pest species that affect the potato crop.

The SRUC potato field trial programme offers:

  • Dedicated sites optimised for your particular needs and available for full range of agronomic and crop protection investigations
  • Impartial, respected experts with whole supply chain connections able to discuss trial results with customers and maximise impact
  • Internationally renowned specialists on the control of Potato blight
  • Bespoke advice on trial design and analysis, with all trials backed up by laboratory and diagnostic services and expertise

Grass field trials

Maintained grassland comprises approximately one quarter of Scotland’s agricultural land. Taking into account rough grazing the proportion of agricultural land is 80%.

Therefore research and development to increase productivity from grassland in a sustainable manner is vital and our field trials teams based at SRUC farms are involved with research and development of all aspects of grass management.

Grass and clover breeding to produce more productive and higher quality varieties is an ongoing multi-national process. At SRUC we field trial all novel varieties to evaluate their suitability for listing under UK national listing and Scottish recommended list.

We carry out a range of fertiliser trials for grass in order to optimise rates of nitrogen application; compare application timings; and elucidate the importance of nutrients such as sulphur. Other novel sources of nutrient input to grass are field trialled and we liaise with agronomy enterprises in the development of such products for the commercial market.

Commercially funded field trials are carried out on herbicides for safe use on grassland swards.

The SRUC grass field trial programme offers:

  • Independence in research trials well known and respected in Scotland and further afield
  • Dedicated sites at various geographical locations in Scotland and available for full range of agronomic and crop protection investigations
  • Impartial, respected experts with whole supply chain connections able to discuss trial results with customers and maximise impact.
  • Bespoke advice on trial design and analysis with all trials backed up by laboratory and diagnostic services and expertise

Arable crop trials

Central point of the SRUC offer in terms of consultancy and research, the Crop Trial service has an extensive experience of performing trials in all kinds of arable crop in Scotland.

Equipped with the latest technology for sowing, harvesting, and capturing data our teams of experts demonstrate each year their ability to adapt to any kind of experimental project, from variety platform to long-term rotation trials.

Hosting in our own land or based in commercial farms, we work hard to provide solution to the key points of each project. Involved into PhD and academic projects, we are working on visionary solutions for the future of our agriculture. Reliable partner for many years with the major actors in plant breeding and crop protection, we value our long-term relationships with our sponsors by providing them high standard solution for testing their products.

Because we believe in practical research, we are proudly contributing to the AHDB program for many years, providing one of the supports our farmers need in a rapidly changing world: knowledge.

Recognised nationally and internationally for our scientist experts on arable crop fungus disease, the trial team provide the ground and the field work required for their study.

The SRUC arable field trial programme offers:

  • On farm sites, located at the heart of the arable land of Scotland
  • Decades of experiences working with major actor in agricultural industry
  • Seven combines harvester and five plot drills, transforming more than 15,000 arable plots per year
  • Hosting National list from AHDB, decades of experiences organising on site open day
  • Turnkey solution for your experimental study, from protocol writing to handing over final report. We’ve got you covered by controlling all aspects of your trial

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