“According to the Swiss Federal law on Agriculture (article 316), ecological subsidies”” are paid to farmers only if they respect special ecological rules on their farms. One of the major objectives of ecological measures is the conservation and increase of biodiversity in agricultural landscape. Five to seven percent of the land of each farm in Switzerland must be set aside for ecological compensation. By ordinance, the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture (SFOA) is responsible for assessing the effects of ecological measures in agriculture on environmental indicators. One of these is biodiversity. The SFOA has entrusted the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture (FAL) with two long term projects lasting both 10 years. The objective of the projects is to assess the effects of ecological measures (imposed to the Swiss farmers by law since 1993) on biodiversity in agricultural landscape. The paper describes the concepts of the two projects which started in 1996 and it presents the ongoing investigations.”
Grass-based beef production is markedly less productive than intensive year-round indoor-housing system-based production. Agroscope experts therefore studied how grass-based farms can produce both economically and in an ecologically sound manner.
Orchard crop spraying using unmanned aerial spraying systems commonly referred to as drones can lead to drift, posing a risk to residents and bystanders. The study shows that the risks arising from this are taken into account by the current registration process.
Trials conducted by FiBL have shown that conversion to organic farming also promotes endangered Red List species such as the carabid beetle species Amara tricuspidata. This species and other species consume seeds of forbs and grasses and thus supports natural weed control.