Agroscope FAT Tänikon’s main research priorities for the 2004-2007 period can be described as follows: Economic analyses and forecasts for the agricultural sector produce decision bases for agricultural policy. The subject matter of our investigations covers productivity development, use of public funds, the direct payment system, dairy farming, food chains and the economic situation of agriculture. Bases and concepts for future-oriented farm and production structures lead to sustainable organisational, technical and political solutions. Research under this heading covers structural changes, earning power, forms of development and co-operation, decision bases with regard to labour economics and farm management, environmental aspects of farm management, cropping and harvesting techniques in arable farming along with plant protection and fertilising methods inter alia in organic farming. Engineering and economics of grassland farming contributes to efficient, sustainable use of meadows and pasture. Research here looks at grassland farming methods, grazing systems and information technology at the interface between biological systems and technical procedures.The development of sustainable and animal-friendly housing systems for farm animals helps to improve competitiveness and social acceptance of animal production. Research areas include milk production systems, exercise areas, feeding systems, milking systems, rural buildings, pen fittings, animal identification systems and animal behaviour.
Policies to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are more effective and more efficient if they are set at the regional level and not at the level of individual farms. This can help achieve climate targets.
Global food availability is expected to remain stable in the medium term. Food security challenges in Switzerland include the decline in agricultural land area per capita, higher incidence of extreme weather events and increased pressure from pests.
Different cultural backgrounds lead to different uptake of biodiversity agri-environmental schemes at the inner-Swiss French-German language border. Economic policy incentives could mitigate culture-driven behavioral differences.