The heavy metal load to Swiss soils decreased significantly in past years. Nevertheless, the input still is considerably higher than crop uptake. Fertilisers contribute around 50 % to the load of most metals, except for chromium and zinc with 90 % and 80 % respectively. Sewage sludge contributes 42 % of the lead, 26 % of the copper and 24 % of the cadmium load but only 9 % of the phosphorus input in fertilisers. In comparison to other fertilisers the quality of mineral fertilisers and manure, expressed as metal to nutrient ratio, is considerably better than that of sewage sludge. Nevertheless, this comparison and an assessment of the ecological relevance of different metals show that the uality of sewage sludge is better than that of compost produced from separately collected organic wastes and of other organic residues used as fertiliser.
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.