The Dairy Research and Innovation 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. Our work increasingly considers the carbon footprint, biodiversity and soil health aspects of dairy production.

Dairy systems research is performed with the Langhill pedigree herd, selected since 1970 as a high genetic merit line and a control line for production of milk solids (fat and protein).

These cattle are managed on two distinctly different management systems – the design of these systems changes every 5 years, with comparisons designed to both challenge the genetic potential of the different genetic lines and test innovative concepts in dairy systems.

The detailed recording of these animals presents many opportunities for a diverse range of add-on monitoring projects – from lameness detection through to proxies for feed efficiency and methane emissions.

Discover our facilities and projects


Our capacity for research on the nutrition and health of dairy calves and youngstock has expanded in recent years and we are now well equipped to study the lifetime trajectories, health and performance of cows.

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We continue to conduct studies of nutrition and milk quality, as well as evaluations of precision farming technologies for both industry and public bodies.

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Explore more about the Dairy Research and Innovation Centre

Crichton Royal Farm

Find directions to the Dairy Research Centre and discover more about the history of the Crichton Royal Farm.

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Technical notes

A collection of downloadable PDFs relating to Dairy Research Centre projects.

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Dairy Research and Innovation Centre news

From cutting-edge research to breeding, health and environmental effects, here you can find all our dairy-related news articles.

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The Queen's Anniversary Prize 2017

We are in the early stages of planning to relocate most of our research to be based at SRUC’s Barony campus, so that students at all levels can be more involved with our cutting-edge programmes.

We have exciting plans to extend from our leading farm-based dairy research to consider effects on dairy product quality and value, as well as to integrate with other bioeconomy opportunities linked to forage production and dairying.

Frequently asked questions

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

Meet the team

Discover the remarkable people who make up the Dairy Research and Innovation Centre team.

Meet the team