In a dry region of Oberwallis (Martisberg) changes in the vegetation of permanent grassland were observed during eight years following the introduction of spray irrigation. Botanical records on eleven plots of 25 m2 show that no fundamental changes occurred from 1988 to 1996. On the most fertile and freshest meadows the number of species slightly decreased and the proportion of good fodder plants increased after the introduction of irrigation. On the driest plots which have not been irrigated the vegetation has not changed. More evident changes following the introduction of irrigation were observed on meadows with an intermediate botanical composition compared with the two previous types. Year by year their botanical composition developed towards that of the most fertile and freshest meadows. These botanical changes do not lead to a decrease in the botanical diversity, but the fodder value of these meadows increases.
Spring J.-L-, Zufferey V., Verdenal T., Reynard J.-S., Lorenzini F., Bourdin G., Blouin A., Carlen C., Jermini M., Morisoli R., Ferretti M.
Five Merlot clones bred in Switzerland are currently being distributed by the certification sector. A multiyear trial conducted by Agroscope in Gudo (Canton of Ticino) has made it possible to compare them with French and Italian reference clones and to highlight their very good performances.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are important for healthy soils and crops. A pan-European study shows that plant-protection products adversely affect these fungi, reducing their ability to supply plants with phosphorus via their roots.
Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin are used in mixtures for perennial hay meadows and for tannin-containing fodder. Agroscope is adding two new cultivars of birdsfoot trefoil to the ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’, whilst there is no change in the case of sainfoin.