To evaluate the impact of set aside land (ecological compensation areas) on biodiversity, spiders and butterflies were used as indicators in two regions in 1997 and 1998. The first results show that the impact of ecological compensation areas depend on the indicator and the type of area. In a typical region of arable crops, wildflower strips offer a food source for adult butterflies, but spiders do not particularly react to their presence. In an intensively cultivated grassland region, extensively managed meadows are more visited by butterflies than intensively managed meadows, but species with particular life-cycles and feeding requirements were not observed. Spider species richness is not higher in extensively managed meadows in comparaison to intensively managed ones but the extensively managed meadows have particular groups of species.
Gilgen A., Felder R., Baumgartner S., Herzog F., Jeanneret P., Séchaud R., Paunovic S., Merbold L.
Agroscope researchers tested the FAO method for assessing the agroecological status of farms in Switzerland for the first time, demonstrating the advantages of a holistic evaluation as well as the limits of the tool.
In wheat crops, pesticides can be used more sparingly without sacrificing cost-efficiency. With oilseed rape the situation is more difficult, since the reduced yields are not offset by higher revenues. These are the findings of the analysis of the first two harvest years of the PestiRed project.
Soil samples can be measured directly in the field by means of spectroscopy. Agroscope researchers have tested mobile devices and shown how to make the best use of them.