Cities and conurbations are usually located in places that are favourable for agriculture. However, in urban regions there are very few people working in the agricultural sector. Although most people use the landscape adjacent to residential areas for recreation, they still expect an agrarian look of this landscape. An investigation of agricultural structures of municipalities in urbanized and rural areas of Switzerland revealed significant differences. Municipalities in urbanized areas show distinctly more part-time farms and a higher amount of ecological compensation areas, whereas rural municipalities have more organic farms. These results indicate that agricultural production is of less importance in urbanized areas than in rural municipalities, and steps towards landscape management are made.
Those wishing to promote biodiversity in agriculture by means of result-based schemes need meaningful indicators. An overview of proposed and used indicators highlights developments and challenges.
Foods of animal origin – friend or foe? It all depends on the needs of consumers and on local production conditions, as shown by a major review in which Agroscope took part.
In vegetable production it is usual to leave crop residues on the field. Measurements carried out by Agroscope researchers show that removing these residues significantly reduces nitrate leaching.