The chemical processes of two Swiss soil tests for phosphorus availability were examined to allow a comparison: Extraction in the ratio of 1 g of soil to 2.5 ml of CO2-saturated water (CO2-P) and in the ratio 1:10 with pure water (H2O10-P), both followed by colorimetric P determination. Apart from orthophosphate up to 80 % of the result are due to other P species. Significant amounts of extracted organic P are not detected by this method. The extracts are saturated with respect to P: Using less soil with a constant volume of extractant, the P concentrations in the extract remain similar and may even increase. Likewise, only a small fraction of P added to the soil prior to the extraction are recovered in the extract. CO2-saturated water extracts between half and the fivefold of P compared with pure water. Calcium plays an important role: The addition of 1 % lime or Ca2+ to lime-free soils reduces the extracted P significantly. For lime-free samples CO2-P can be estimated from H2O10-P if H2O10-Ca is included in the calculation. With lime containing soils there are no useful correlations between CO2-P and H2O10-P.These «weak» extraction methods measure the «intensity», i.e. the P concentration in mg/L, and not soil P contents in mg/kg or kg/ha and can therefore not be used for an estimation of P fluxes or P balances.
Grass-based beef production is markedly less productive than intensive year-round indoor-housing system-based production. Agroscope experts therefore studied how grass-based farms can produce both economically and in an ecologically sound manner.
Orchard crop spraying using unmanned aerial spraying systems commonly referred to as drones can lead to drift, posing a risk to residents and bystanders. The study shows that the risks arising from this are taken into account by the current registration process.
Trials conducted by FiBL have shown that conversion to organic farming also promotes endangered Red List species such as the carabid beetle species Amara tricuspidata. This species and other species consume seeds of forbs and grasses and thus supports natural weed control.