We assessed the evolution of the yield, the nutritive value of the herbage and the botanical composition of a low input permanent meadow that received different amounts of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) fertilisers. The yield was reduced in similar proportion by the cessation of the N or the K fertilisation. A yield loss was observed when the K fertilisation replaced less than 40 % of the K withdrawn through the harvested herbage. The K availability in the soil significantly decreased in all the treatments during the experiment. The higher the K fertilisation, the higher the K and the lower the magnesium contents in the plant. At the end of the experiment, the yield proportion of the grasses, the legumes and the forbs were 65 %, 16 % and 19 % in the plots receiving no N-fertilisation and 73 %, 3 % and 24 % in the plots without K application. In spite of these differences, the same plant species and a similar proportion of plants typical of low input meadows were found in all the plots. On this site, a plant community of the Arrhenatherion-type could be maintained with different level of N and K in the fertilisation.
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.