The composition of sewage sludge is intensively monitored since 25 years in Switzerland. The nutrient contents have undergone only minor changes. Simultaneously to an increasing production of sewage sludge the nutrient loads have increased during the first 15 years and since remained stable. Except for copper, the load of most heavy metals continuously decreased after an increase during the first five years, as heavy metal contents sharply declined. In spite of this, sewage sludge will probably disappear as a fertilizer up to 2005. This is due to additional needs to protect the health of man and environment from risks as well as to the market risk.
Agroscope has developed a scoring system for plant protection in vegetable crops. The system enables the creation of incentives for reducing the use and environmental risks of plant-protection products and promoting preventive and non-chemical measures.
Many consumer goods contain activated carbon, which can be contaminated with pollutants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Agroscope showed that current analytical methods and legal bases used to address PAH content are incomplete.
Dry summers can see a loss of up to 25% of total Swiss roughage production. This is because grassland yields are strongly correlated with summer drought, as shown by a new analysis conducted by Agroscope and the Swiss Farmers’ Union.