Concerning variety testing of winter wheat under organic conditions Swiss authorities offer a new possibility. With beginning in autumn 2001 and with a scheduled re-evaluation after three years the actual variety tests are declared as an official variety testing program. This means that in the future winter wheat varieties can be accepted for the Swiss national variety catalogue by passing successfully the organic variety testing. This proceeding is unique in Europe. In two years tests the winter wheat varieties Titlis and Runal proved their good performance under organic agricultural practice. They showed a high efficiency in both agronomic and qualitative characteristics. The variety Pegassos is interesting for farms in transition to organic farming. Even with the lower price of fodder wheat the high grain yield of Pegassos leads to a net profit which is comparable with the net profit of a high quality variety. The tested winter barley varieties differed only little in the investigated parameters. Based on the obtained results the varieties Landi, Blanche, Baretta, Jasmin, Antonia as well as a blend of Baretta and Landi can be recommended for the cultivation under organic conditions. Hiberna represents the type of a naked winter barley which is suited for rolled barley or flakes and therefore is recommended for human consumption, but the yield potential of this variety is much lower than that of common fodder barley.
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.