To examine the effectiveness on biodiversity of the direct payments for ecological compensation areas we rely on grasshoppers both as indicators for landscape change and as a small and singing element of biodiversity, however threatened from extinction. To compare the situation before and after the introduction of the ecological compensation areas (ECA) a repeated survey of the grasshoppers was made in the municipality of Schönenberg (canton Zürich) both in 1990 and 2000. In addition we investigated the correlations between grasshoppers and other environmental factors. Most of the ECA in the examined region are legally protected wetland areas (litter meadows cut once a year) offering habitats for rare grasshoppers, which prefer a wet environment. This results in the overall ECA containing more species of grasshoppers than the remaining surfaces, however outside of legally protected areas, the number of grasshopper species increased significantly more on ECA (extensive used meadows and pastures and low intensity meadows) compared to Non-ECA sites. The number of red list species increased in the period between 1990 and 2000 on all ECA more than on Non-ECA. In the examined region the ecological compensation areas have a positive effect on grasshopper diversity.
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.