We provide independent, robust evidence, founded on the best available scientific knowledge, to inform policy-makers on national and international agricultural and environmental policy.

Advice from a sound base

Rothamsted Research has a profound understanding of biological processes and extensive knowledge of whole agricultural systems. Our scientists draw on both to contribute evidence and recommendations that inform policy-making in the UK and overseas.


We contribute to national and international policies by submitting written and oral evidence to government consultations, parliamentary open debates and governmental enquiries, through invited participation in scientific strategy and governmental review panels, provision of robust, peer-reviewed data and text for policy and strategy documents and through the participation of our scientists in government or research council missions and policy workshops.

Examples of how we have helped shape policy include our contributions to enquiries led by the Lords Select Committee and Committee on Climate Change, our involvement in the development of the EU bioenergy strategy, through membership of the former DECC advisory panel of the FP7 Energy Committee, and of UK Bioenergy Strategy through discussion and written contributions to Defra, DECC and DTF. Our scientists have also participated I many parliamentary debates on wide topics and submitted written evidence for the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Soil Health report 2016 -2017. We have also contributed to influential reports of the Nuffield Council of Bioethics and have engaged in discussion with MPs over the impacts of Brexit on UK science and agriculture.


A few examples of our recent contribution of evidence to inform policy include:

  • Submission of written evidence in the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Soil Health report 2016 -2017 (Rothamsted submitted written Evidence (SHI18)
  • The efficient use of fertilisers is a key part of ensuring food security and protecting our environment. Rothamsted led the revision of the fertiliser recommendation system to produce the Fertiliser Manual (RB209) published in 2010.
  • China is a huge country with perhaps 250 million farmers but no national guidance on fertiliser use. In the early 2000s, Rothamsted helped the China Agricultural University to develop the first national Chinese Fertiliser Recommendations, based on the UK’s RB209.
  • LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) has worked for 25 years to promoting sustainable agriculture, food and farming and to help farmers produce good food, with care and to high environmental standards. Rothamsted’s Professor Keith Goulding is a member of LEAF’s Policy and Strategic Development Committee as its soils expert. In that role he has contributed to LEAF’s booklet ‘Simply Sustainable Soils’ and the creation and continual development of its ‘LEAF Marque’ standard for food quality.
  • Rothamsted alongside other Research establishments was involved in Farm Scale evaluations on GM herbicide tolerant crops. Rothamsted is globally renowned for leading in this area.
  • The EFRA Committee Report launched 1st July 2014 makes reference to the unique work being done at Rothamsted in both livestock and arable research.


James Clarke

James Clarke

Head of Communications & Public Engagement

+44 (0) 1582 938 109