We investigated the sorption capacity and availability of phosphorus (P) in soils of the Lippenrütibach catchment (Canton Luzern, Switzerland) to assess the risk of P-losses from agricultural land in the long-term. The different available P-forms in soil were characterised using six P extraction methods. The soils in the study area revealed a high P-sorption capacity and medium to high P-contents. In the top 5 cm soil layer these were a few times larger than in the soil layer 5 to 20 cm. The P-saturation index, expressed as the ratio between P-content and P-sorption capacity in soil, was on average 0.48 (0 to 5 cm) and 0.36 (5 to 20 cm) and was closely related to both the soluble P and plant available P in soil. The P-saturation index varied strongly between sites of different farms as well as between sites of the same farm. Based on the P-sorption capacity and the P-saturation of the soils investigated, we presume that a reduced P-fertilization below the P-demand of the plants may decrease the potential risk of P-losses in the catchment only slowly, i.e. within 10 to 20 years.
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.