The nutrient balances of the Swiss agriculture were calculated for nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) for all the years between 1975 and 1995 on the basis of the farmgate balance, a comparison between nutrient input into agriculture and output from agriculture. Nitrogen surplus amounted to about 124‘000 t N and 116 kg N/ha agricultural used area (= surface used by agriculture without alpine pastures) respectively in 1995. For phosphorus the corresponding values were about 13‘500 t P and 13 kg P/ha. Between 1975 and 1995 mineral fertilizer consumption increased at first and decreased subsequently. A strong decrease over the whole period was observed for the imported feedstuffs. Nutrient surplus increased for both nutrients up to 1980, then decreased continuously. In the framework of the evaluation of the ecological measures according to the Agricultural Law a decrease in nutrient surplus of nearly 10‘000 t N and about 5‘500 t P could be observed between the reference years of 1990-92 and 1995.
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.