SRUC

SRUC and SAC Consulting are well known for their technical notes. These provide detailed advice to land managers on a wide range of issues and are informed by research and practice in the field.

The production of some of these technical notes has been possible with funding from the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) - part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) which is co-funded by the EU and Scottish Government, providing information and resources aimed at increasing the profitability and sustainability of farms and crofts.

Select a section to see technical notes for that area

Cattle technical notes

The following documents open as PDF formats

TN468: Producing clean slaughter cattle
Guidance for producers in all aspects of improving the cleanliness of cattle for slaughter.

TN541: Health status of breeding cattle for sale
Guidance on managing risks of major diseases in cattle for sale

TN564: Modifying existing cattle handling systems to improve human safety
Some persistent problems found in Scottish beef handling systems could be overcome by fairly simple modifications to the existing facilities.

TN565: Recommendations for the design of new, safe and efficient cattle handling systems
Constructing a new handling system is a major and long-term investment and it pays to design the system correctly from the start.

TN573: Planned worm control for the beef herd
Guidance on cost effective treatment programmes

TN574: The control and management of calf diarrhoea in beef herds
Guidance on the causes of the disease, treatment and control measures

TN586: Conservation grazing of semi-natural habitats
Most of the habitats that we value for their biodiversity have been maintained or created by human management practices, and in particular, grazing by domestic livestock.

TN595: Woodchip corrals
Corrals are a relatively low cost option for over-wintering cattle and improve animal welfare and stock performance.

TN599: Preventing lameness in dairy cows: hoof lesions; their identification, treatment, management and prevention
Lameness in every dairy herd can be split into three main categories: claw horn (hoof) lesions, skin lesions and non-foot lameness.

TN610: Ventilation of cattle and sheep buildings
Effective ventilation is crucial. In cattle and sheep buildings it is usual to rely on natural ventilation to create the required internal climatic conditions for housed livestock.

TN614: Biodiversity and animal health
Both biodiversity and animal health are important issues on livestock farms. Carefuly integrated farm management can benefit both wildlife and livestock and reduce diffuse pollution.

TN617: Stockowner biosecurity
The prevention of infectious disease to livestock farm herds and flocks is more important as margins tighten and exotic diseases threaten.

TN634: Ensuring good welfare for out-wintered suckler cows
Studies over several years at SAC and on commercial farms have demonstrated the benefits that can be obtained from out-wintering pregnant suckler cows.

TN641: Utilising Maternal Trait EBVs of Beef Bulls
Beef bulls have a major impact on the quality of the UK suckler herd as all suckler cows are sired by a beef bull.

TN665: Alternative watering for field grazed livestock I - Abstraction Systems

TN666: Alternative watering for field grazed livestock II - Pumping Systems

 

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Crop technical notes

The following documents open as PDF formats

TN469: Choosing tyres to minimise soil damage
Guidance on all aspects of choosing alternative tyres to reduce soil damage and compaction.

TN492: Aphids and aphid-borne virus disease in potatoes
Guidance on the management and control measure that can be taken to prevent crop damage.

TN540: Winter wheat and barley: the integrated management of broad-leaved weeds and meadow-grass
Guidance on key weeds, and methods of managing and treating them

TN547: Swedes and turnips - integrated weed management
Guidance on weed competition in swedes and turnips, and both physical and chemical methods of weed control

TN551: Pests of swedes and turnips - their management and control
Guidance on pests in brassicas and techniques to reduce damage in crops

TN552: Wheat bulb fly and other fly pests of cereals
Guidance on the risks from pests and techniques to reduce damage in crops

TN553: Minimum tillage
Guidance on the benefits of this system and what to consider in adopting it

TN586: Conservation grazing of semi-natural habitats
Most of the habitats that we value for their biodiversity have been maintained or created by human management practices, and in particular, grazing by domestic livestock.

TN580: Crop protection in reduced tillage systems
Interest in non-ploughing tillage systems has increased because of the need to reduce costs, to establish winter crops timeously and because of perceived environmental benefits.

TN582: Managing set-aside and fallows for crop protection
Guidance on how set-aside and fallow breaks can be used to improve crop protection throughout the rotation.

TN584: Stem boring pests of winter oilseed rape
Highlighting the characteristics and live cycle of pests and best management practices to adopt to prevent damage to crops.

TN596: Spring barley weed control
Guidance on weed control programmes - optimising herbicide use and minimising cost and environmental impacts.

TN601: Ergot disease in cereals
Ergot management including variety resistance, impact on animals and management of field margins to minimise risk.

TN602: Clubroot disease Of oilseed rape and other brassica crops
Clubroot management in brassicas.

TN603: Soil dwelling free-living nematodes as pests of crops
Soil dwelling nematode pests are separated into migratory (free-living) and sedentary types, which relates to their ability to move through soil whilst feeding.

TN604: Changes in pests, weeds and diseases in Scotland over the last 20 years
The populations of pests, weeds and diseases in Scotland changes over time in response to cropping patterns, varieties, husbandry, rotation, cultivation, pesticide use and climatic changes.

TN605: Impact of climate change in Scotland on crop pests, weeds and disease
Summary of how climate change is likely to affect the pests, weeds and diseases we currently see on Scottish crops, and identify potential 'new' threats that can take advantage of the changed climate.

TN607: Winter wheat disease control
Integated management of wheat diseases, including use of varietal resistance, seed treatments and fungicides for cost effective disease control.

TN609: Management of grass weeds in winter cereals
Grass weeds are an increasing problem in cottish winter cereals crops. husbandry and herbicidal techniques are described, with particular emphasis on bromes, black-grass, rye-grass and wild-oats.

TN618: Cephalosporium leaf stripe in winter wheat
Cephalosporium leaf stripe is an increasing problem on farms in Scotland where wheat is grown on short rotations.

TN620: Winter oilseed rape pests and diseases
Winter oilseed rape is affected by a wide range of pests and diseases with new problems beginning to appear as a consequence of changes in pesticide usage and weather patterns.

TN629: Management of species rich grasslands
The species-rich grasslands referred to in this Technical Note are the naturally occurring, unimproved grasslands that support a diverse range of wildflowers.

TN630: Potato storage diseases
Advice on how to increase potato yields and marketability by preventing diseases during storage. Details diseases and how to control/prevent them.

TN631: Potato tuber pests
A Technical Note detailing the identification and integrated control of tuber pests. There are a variety of pests that feed below the soil surface on potato roots and tubers.

TN638: Diagnosis of herbicide damage in potatoes
Glyphosate is widely used in cereals crops as a harvest aid, to control couch grass, as a desiccant in oilseed rape and to clean up stubbles and fallow land to name but a few uses.

TN642: Tan spot in winter wheat
An outbreak of tan spot, caused by the fungus Pyrenophora triticirepentis occurred in wheat crops in East Lothian, Scotland in 2010 and 2011.

TN643: Weed management in grassland
This technical note describes the most important weeds of grassland and their management. It updates Technical Note 615 with many changes in herbicide approval and labels.

TN644: Haulm destruction in potato crops
The timely destruction of the potato haulm is important to stop bulking and optimise the yield of a marketable crop of the right specification whether seed or ware.

TN651: Nitrogen recommendations for cereals, oilseed rape and potatoes
Nitrogen recommendations for cereals, oilseed rape and potatoes.

TN655: Fertiliser recommendations for soft fruit and rhubarb crops

TN656: Soils information, texture and liming

TN657: Management of copper in soils for cereals

TN623: Fertiliser recommendations for soft fruit and rhubarb crops
Nitrogen (N) recommendations for these crops have been updated in the light of results from recent trials and advisory experience.

TN624: Weed control in the potato crop
A constantly changing legislative environment has resulted in fewer herbicide options since the last technical note on this subject.

TN626: Black-grass: managing the risk under Scottish conditions
This technical note covers the current black-grass situation in Scotland. It presents a picture where, through climate change, populations could become similar to those in parts of England.

TN627: Barley disease control
This note contains up to date information about the management of winter and spring barley diseases. New information on varietal resistance, integrated control management fungicide programmes.

TN667: Grandfathers rights. The clock is ticking

TN668: Managing soil phosphorus April 2015
A new soil specific approach to P management is presented that takes into account the relationship between differing soils capacity to regulate P availability for plant uptake.

TN741: Recommended grass and clover varieties 2020-2021

Organic oilseed rape in Scotland: a technical guide

 

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Dairy technical notes

The following documents open as PDF formats

TN468: Producing clean slaughter cattle
Guidance for producers in all aspects of improving the cleanliness of cattle for slaughter.

TN586: Conservation grazing of semi-natural habitats
Most of the habitats that we value for their biodiversity have been maintained or created by human management practices, and in particular, grazing by domestic livestock.

TN587: Managing body condition scoring in dairy cow
Guidance on keeping cows in the correct body condition to ensure good productivity and reduced health and welfare problems.

TN588: Condition scoring on the modern dairy cow
Guidance on body condition scoring methods and linkages in scoring and fertility and energy balance in the cow

TN595: Woodchip corrals
Corrals are a relatively low cost option for over-wintering cattle and improve animal welfare and stock performance.

TN599: Preventing lameness in dairy cows: hoof lesions; their identification, treatment, management and prevention
Lameness in every dairy herd can be split into three main categories: claw horn (hoof) lesions, skin lesions and non-foot lameness.

TN614: Biodiversity and animal health
Both biodiversity and animal health are important issues on livestock farms. Carefuly integrated farm management can benefit both wildlife and livestock and reduce diffuse pollution.

TN617: Stockowner biosecurity
The prevention of infectious disease to livestock farm herds and flocks is more important as margins tighten and exotic diseases threaten.

TN665: Alternative watering for field grazed livestock I - Abstraction Systems

 

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Fertiliser and lime technical notes

The following documents open as PDF formats

TN651: Nitrogen recommendations for cereals, oilseed rape and potatoes
Nitrogen recommendations for cereals, oilseed rape and potatoes.

TN655: Fertiliser recommendations for soft fruit and rhubarb crops

TN656: Soils information, texture and liming

TN657: Management of copper in soils for cereals

TN668 Managing soil phosphorus April 2015
A new soil specific approach to P management is presented that takes into account the relationship between differing soils capacity to regulate P availability for plant uptake.

TN685 Sulphur recommendations for crops

TN699 Agricultural use of biosolids, composts, anaerobic digestates and other industrial organic fertilisers

 

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Land management technical notes

The following documents open as PDF formats

TN469: Choosing tyres to Minimise soil damage
Guidance on all aspects of choosing alternative tyres to reduce soil damage and compaction.

TN513: Grass margins and beetle banks
Guidance on creating and managing habitats for wildlife

TN515: Conservation headlands
Guidance on wildlife habitat management on arable land

TN519: Management of wetlands for wildlife
Guidance on habitat management for the benefit of wildlife

TN612: Ponds for wildlife - creation and restoration
This technical note provides guidance on good practice in the creation and restoration of ponds in Scotland.

TN628: Land management For butterflies
This Technical Note provides guidance on best practice land management to support and encourage butterflies and their habitats.

TN639: Management for bumblebees - how farmers can bring back the buzz
Bumblebees are a crucial insect group for pollination of vegetables, fruit, oilseeds, legumes and fodder crops.

TN646: River floodplains and natural flood management on farmed land
Natural flood management involves working to restore natural processes by taking a catchment wide approach to flood risk management.

TN653: Biosecurity – Vehicles visiting the farm

TN656: Soils information, texture and liming

TN665: Alternative watering for field grazed livestock I - Abstraction systems

TN667: Grandfathers Rights. The clock is ticking

TN701: Control of rushes

 

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Organic technical notes

The following documents open as PDF formats

TN488: Organic vegetables in Scotland
Demand for organic vegetables is increasing steadily but over 80% of UK supply is imported. Imported organic vegetables include types widely grown by conventional growers in Scotland.

TN520: Converting to organic farming
Consumer concern over the way food is produced, the effect of farming methods on the environment and animal welfare, and the healthiness of food, is increasing.

TN667: Grandfathers rights. The clock is ticking

Organic oilseed rape in Scotland: a technical guide

 

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Poultry technical notes

The following documents open as PDF formats

TN598: Perch designs for extensive systems
Perching is a behaviour that the bird performs naturally in the wild.

TN662: Laying hens: supplement to the codes of practice

TN670: Culling small numbers of poultry on the farm

 

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Sheep technical notes

The following documents open as PDF formats

TN577: Sustainable control of parasitic gastroeteritis in sheep in Scotland
Guidance on how best to control the spread of disease.

TN586: Conservation grazing of semi-natural habitats
Most of the habitats that we value for their biodiversity have been maintained or created by human management practices, and in particular, grazing by domestic livestock.

TN606: Sheep handling facilities
Understanding the behaviour of sheep is essential for planning and designing a sheep handling facility as well as incorporating aspects of animal and human welfare and environmental impacts.

TN610: Ventilation of cattle and sheep buildings
Effective ventilation is crucial. In cattle and sheep buildings it is usual to rely on natural ventilation to create the required internal climatic conditions for housed livestock.

TN614: Biodiversity and animal health
Both biodiversity and animal health are important issues on livestock farms. Carefuly integrated farm management can benefit both wildlife and livestock and reduce diffuse pollution.

TN617: Stockowner biosecurity
The prevention of infectious disease to livestock farm herds and flocks is more important as margins tighten and exotic diseases threaten.

TN636: Control of sheep scab and other ectoparasites of sheep
In Scotland sheep scab became notifiable to the local Divisional Veterinary Manager of Animal Health under the Sheep Scab (Scotland) Order 2010.

TN669: Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA)
OPA is an infectious lung cancer caused by Jaagesieke sheep retrovirus.

TN676: Why tag and record sheep?

TN679: Castration and tail docking in lambs

 

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