Since 1992 an intensive (IS), an integrated (IP) and a low input (LI) farming system are compared on all arable plots of the Burgrain farm. The number of pesticide treatments in the integrated and the low input system was 63 % and 83 % lower than in the conventional, rather intensive farming system. Also the input of mineral nitrogen was reduced by 22 % in IP and by 37 % in LI. In the integrated system mean yields of potatoes, corn and cereals were 4 %, 5 % and 14 % lower than in the intensive system. In LI these differences were 10 %, 9 % and 17 %. In contrast, yields of clover-grass meadows showed almost no differences between the farming systems. Differences in gross margins between the farming systems were mainly due to differences in yields. Over the seven arable crops the gross margin of IP and LI was 62.- and 265.- Swiss francs smaller per hectare and year than in IS. However the less intensive systems achieved a comparable or better net profit than IS due to the direct payments of the Swiss government for integrated or organic farming.
Despite the current challenges of e.g. the war in Ukraine and climate change, the Swiss food sector is relatively resilient. This is the conclusion reached by Agroscope’s report on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for National Economic Supply.
The pandemic has influenced not only our everyday life but also our behaviour. Agroscope looked at which population groups and behaviours experienced or underwent particularly significant changes, and what this means for our health.
Swiss dairy farms are more strongly affected by structural change than other farm types. An analysis of the farms exiting the sector or switching focus highlights influencing factors.