CIEL | Dairy Research Capability

Productivity | Nutrition | Health & Welfare | Behaviour | Reproduction

World-leading research capability for the ruminant sector

Dairy products achieve a huge penetration across UK households, although there is increasing competition from non-dairy alternatives. Our dairy capabilities address the key challenges requiring research and innovation: environmental impact, whole-lifetime health and welfare, resource efficiency, novel feeds and disease reduction. These, together with genetic improvement, can best help equip the modern dairy farmer and cow for future farm systems.

Expertise includes:

  • Improving cow health & welfare through optimising production environments
  • Increasing the efficiency for milk production from feed
  • Enhancing the rumen microbiome and the cow genome to improve efficiency & sustainability
  • Managing youngstock to enhance productivity, health & longevity of the herd
  • Novel strategies and new tools to improve health e.g. diagnostics and vaccines.

CIEL provides facilities to conduct research on both housed and grazing systems, addressing all types of dairy farming in the UK.

Additional expertise and facilities to support the dairy sector are also available through the following CIEL academic partners: Aberystwyth University; Harper Adams University; Queen’s University Belfast; University of Bristol; Newcastle University; and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

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    Internationally-leading dairy science research facility at the forefront of research into the health, nutrition and welfare of dairy cows and calves.

    The £6 million Centre for Dairy Science Innovation (CDSI) is a state- of-the-art extension to the University of Nottingham’s longstanding dairy facilities. It brings together existing expertise in dairy science, dairy herd health & welfare and dairy food science, and positions the University at the forefront of research into the health, nutrition and welfare of dairy cows.


    Precision livestock farming with a green ‘hoof print’.

    Duchy Future Farm is a first of its kind for England, driving improvements in efficiency, animal health & welfare, environmental best practice and technological advancement in dairy farming.


    Protecting the environment and developing efficiency through diet and improved animal health and performance.

    AFBI Precision Grassland Dairy Platform offers extensive research capability in the areas of grazing and indoor feeding systems with capacity to precisely monitor individual dietary intake, behaviour, health and welfare from birth through to adulthood.


    Helping dairy farmers make informed decisions to breed cows with improved resistance to bTB

    CIEL investment has supported the development of TB Advantage, a genetic index published by AHDB Dairy to help dairy farmers make informed decisions around the breeding cows, which have an improved resistance to bovine tuberculosis (bTB).


    Find out about all our dairy capability in the full CIEL Ruminant Brochure featuring details of the research capability available, technical specifications, video walkthroughs and case studies.