The Soil Erosion Risk Map gives a national overview on the erosion risk of Swiss soils, particularly for arable land. With the help of an adapted version of the empirical erosion model USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation), the long-term soil erosion risk was calculated all over the country in a hectare grid. The Soil Erosion Risk Map is meant to serve as a basis for the Cantons to create detailed maps or investigate in depth areas that are particularly at risk. Under the assumption that within the current crop rotation all arable land is ploughed and no cover crops are cultivated, long-term average soil loss is less than 2 t/ha and year on 61 % of all arable land, and may be classified as low erosion risk. 22 % are in the critical range between 2 and 4 t/ha and year, and 17 % with more than 4 t/ha and year may be described as having a high risk of erosion. The spatial distribution of the erosion risk shows a highly heterogeneous pattern within the main regions of arable farming, and no specific high-risk region could be identified. In a scenario calculation in which ploughing is replaced by no-tillage and winter fallow by cover crops on all arable land, the risk of soil erosion is reduced on average by about two thirds.
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.