Several plant and animal species are promoted by wildflower strips. So far, potential benefits of this ecological compensation element to the soil have not yet been examined. Therefore, in the cantons Aargau and Basel-Land two soil aspects have been studied: five or six years old wildflower strips were compared to cereal fields and permanent meadows in regard to the quality of the soil structure and the abundance of the entomopathogenic soil fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. In the permanent meadows both in the topsoil and the under layer the quality of the soil structure was better than in the cereal fields. The values of the wildflower strips were in between. M. anisopliae was detected in all surfaces. The highest frequencies and densities were found in the permanent meadows. In the wildflower strips the fungus density tended to be higher than in the cereal fields. Thus, the soil can benefit from wildflower strips, but it takes several years until improvement.
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.