At the University of Applied Sciences Wädens-wil (HSW) every year about 70‘000 fern plants (55 species) are produced. Occasionally, the production shows some serious defiencies: fungal infections and contaminations by algae or mosses. In collaboration with the Swiss Federal Research Station at Wädenswil (FAW) the reasons of these problems were partly determined. Three pathogenic fungi ( Acremonium, Phoma, Ascochyta) have been isolated and identified from diseased fern plants and first successful experiments with fungicide applications have been carried out. By direct sowing the spores in larger containers the production process becomes less labour intensive. To protect the cultures from infections by fungi, mosses and algae, the sowing containers were covered by glass plates.
Herbicide-resistant weeds are a growing problem throughout the world. Monitoring herbicide resistance in Switzerland allows us to understand the mechanisms behind it and to better manage the use of herbicides.
Agroscope compared crop protection strategies in apple production. Reducing the use of plant-protection products lowered the local ecotoxological risks, but resulted in trade-offs between environmental and economic performance.
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium proteins protect Bt maize from being fed on by specific insects. A new, systematic analysis of international field data confirms that non-target organisms in Bt maize are largely spared.