The common bunt (Tilleta caries) is widely spread and is one of the most important seed-born diseases in wheat. However, since the introduction of chemical seed dressing it can be efficiently controlled. Given that the directives of organic farming do not permit the use of synthetic chemicals for control, other means are needed in order to control the disease. In this context, the resistance of a variety is an important factor. From 2000 to 2002, nine field trials were carried out in three different locations. Twenty Swiss and other European wheat varieties were artificially infected with common bunt. They were then tested for their susceptibility to the disease. The trials showed that there was a considerable difference between the varieties. None of the checked wheat varieties was completely resistant. The best varieties (Levis, Titlis, Toronit, Arbola and Arina) had 11.4 % to 16.9 % infected heads on the average. The most susceptible variety had 50.5 % infected ears. The Swiss-bred varieties showed a good resistance to common bunt in comparison with the foreign wheat varieties. Furthermore, the trials revealed a decisive influence of the soil temperature in the first two weeks after drilling on the level of disease severity.
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.