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Investing in farming

Published: 29 Dec 2016 00:01

Research helping to improve industry.

A new test for tickborne fever in sheep, the effect of cow health on milk nutrients and identification of potato varieties with resistance to late blight are among the research projects benefitting Scottish farming.

Funded by the Scottish Government as part of a significant programme of research into the environment and agriculture, these projects have the ability to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Scottish agriculture.

The projects include:

  • The development of a new molecular test for tickborne fever which is a sizeable hidden cost to the livestock industry
  • A study into levels of selenium in milk to ensure the selection of cows with optimal mineral status – leading to healthier cows and healthier milk
  • The identification of potato varieties with resistance to the late potato blight genes to help improve resistance to a potato disease that causes the loss of entire crops.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“Agriculture is the cornerstone of the rural economy. Identifying ways to help farmers and crofters improve efficiency on the farm is a key way for us to invest in the future of the industry.

“We fund a significant amount of research which can make a difference at a practical level. New tests for tickborne fever in sheep, improving potato resistance to late blight and helping farmers to select the best cows for milk production can all help make our crops and livestock healthier. That in turn can boost sustainability, productivity and profitability of farm businesses.

“We will continue to harness Scotland’s first class research abilities to support our farming industry and maximise the contribution it makes to our economy.”