In this paper, we compare the botanical and chemical compositions of grazed grassland located at various altitudes between 600 and 2100 m a.s.l., as part of a study on the relationships between the characteristics of grass and those of Swiss hard cheese. The lowland leys are composed only of grasses and legumes and their botanical diversity is distinctly smaller than that of the highland permanent pastures. When the altitude raises, we noticed in the latter a decrease in the proportion of grasses and an increase in numerous dicotyledonous species, especially Compositae, Rosaceae and Plantaginaceae. Some differences in the chemical composition of grass have been observed between lowland grassland and highland pastures. In the subalpine area (above 1600 m), the herbages contain much more soluble phenolic compounds and reveal a greater biological activity of the secondary metabolites. However, the digestibility of the organic matter is little influenced by the altitude.
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.