From 1999 to 2001 a selection of mid-early to late processing potato varieties have been assessed within the main trials (7 locations) throughout Switzerland. The experiments were conducted by the two Swiss Federal Agricultural Research Stations Zurich-Reckenholz and Changins within the framework of the swisspatat working group for potato cultivars. For the varieties Lady Olympia, Fontane, Sunbeam, Lady Claire, Innovator, L 325/90, Erntestolz and Eba, results concerning agronomic characteristics, disease resistance and processing quality to French fries and crisps are presented. Fontane, Innovator and Lady Claire have been introduced in the recommended list for potato cultivars in 2001 and 2002 respectively. We suggest that the processing industry will expand their production area and will quickly replace very well established varieties like Eba and Erntestolz. Fontane convinced by high yield, good starch content, good storability and excellent processing quality for French fries, crisps and rösti. Innovator showed good resistance to late blight and powdery scab. Its tuber form was very interesting for French fries production. However, the high content of reducing sugars and the medium to low starch content are just satisfactory. This variety may offer the potential to produce organic processing products. Lady Claire convinced by an excellent crisp quality due to very low contents of reducing sugars. Its tubers showed a good storability and low susceptibility to tuber damages. However, all three varieties displayed medium to high susceptibility to PVY. This will complicate the indigenous production of basic seed.
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.