Extension is a way of planning, implementing and controlling applied agricultural research, which is new for Switzerland. The extension’s slogan is “know-how – created for application “. Extension projects are planed for one year, with the possibility to be continued if needed. Clients, i.e. grower’s, cantonal extensionists and the post-harvest sector, are organised in forums, propose issues to be addressed and set their priorities. The article gives insights into interesting examples of the extension and summarises Agroscope FAW Wädenswil’s experience of 2004 for the areas of “fruit production” and “vegetable production”. Clients value the first year positively, the system will be continued in 2005. Truly new is the systematical and transparent management of client relations and client-friendliness. The extension for „vegetable production“ and for „fruit / vine grape production“ consist in teams of less than 10 specialists each and the respective FAW-experiment farms’ leaders , who worked on more than 25 projects in 2004. A board knowledge and interest, continuous learning and flexibility are among the most important characteristics of FAW’s extensionists, who have to develop practicable problem solutions by applying a holistic view. The essence of the extension may therefore be characterised by three words: holistic, transparent and useful.
Spring J.-L-, Zufferey V., Verdenal T., Reynard J.-S., Lorenzini F., Bourdin G., Blouin A., Carlen C., Jermini M., Morisoli R., Ferretti M.
Five Merlot clones bred in Switzerland are currently being distributed by the certification sector. A multiyear trial conducted by Agroscope in Gudo (Canton of Ticino) has made it possible to compare them with French and Italian reference clones and to highlight their very good performances.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are important for healthy soils and crops. A pan-European study shows that plant-protection products adversely affect these fungi, reducing their ability to supply plants with phosphorus via their roots.
Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin are used in mixtures for perennial hay meadows and for tannin-containing fodder. Agroscope is adding two new cultivars of birdsfoot trefoil to the ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’, whilst there is no change in the case of sainfoin.