Two set-aside plots were established by natural revegetation and by sowing a wildflower seed mixture at each of 13 sites on fertile arable soils of the Swiss plateau.<br>The objectives were to investigate whether species rich plant communities would develop on naturally revegetated fertile arable soils and whether problem weeds such as Cirsium arvense and Rumex obtusifolius, would be more abundant in naturally revegetated plots compared to sown set-aside plots. Within the three years of study no red data book species could be found in naturally revegetated plots, and plant species diversity was always significantly lower than in plots sown with a wildflower mixture.<br>In addition, cover of problem weeds and grass cover in plots under natural revegetation were higher, and herb cover lower than in the sown plots. However, the number of unsown species establishing on the sown plots was significantly reduced in comparison with the unsown plots.
Gilgen A., Felder R., Baumgartner S., Herzog F., Jeanneret P., Séchaud R., Paunovic S., Merbold L.
Agroscope researchers tested the FAO method for assessing the agroecological status of farms in Switzerland for the first time, demonstrating the advantages of a holistic evaluation as well as the limits of the tool.
In wheat crops, pesticides can be used more sparingly without sacrificing cost-efficiency. With oilseed rape the situation is more difficult, since the reduced yields are not offset by higher revenues. These are the findings of the analysis of the first two harvest years of the PestiRed project.
Soil samples can be measured directly in the field by means of spectroscopy. Agroscope researchers have tested mobile devices and shown how to make the best use of them.