Intensive soil tillage in conventional potato cropping increases the risk of erosion and leaching of nitrate. Direct mulch planting of potatoes was developed to reduce this risk. Ridges and covercrops are established in August after harvest of the preceding cereal crop. In the following spring potatoes are plated without any soil tillage. The results of a FAL-trial series (1995-1999) show the chances of the new cultivation system. Early weed control is necessary because of the presence of established weeds and germinating weeds. Heavy soil with high bulk density influences negatively the quality of tubers and reduces the yield. In light soils however quality and yield almost comparable to conventional cropping is reported by other authors.
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.