In the regions where agriculture covers most of the landscape, species rich field margins have an important role in the preservation of biodiversity, plants and fauna. Considering this, the Swiss Confederation plans to introduce «field margins» as new type of ecological compensation area. It is a perennial and linear structure sown with a mixture of native forbs and grasses. It is 3 to 12 meters wide and is made to endure throughout the years without reseeding. To determine the effect of this new structure on vole and mole populations, we studied 36 agricultural fields with either an improved field margin or a conventional field margin or a wildflower strip on the edge. The results show that these three types of field edges are appreciated by voles, but the activity of those rodents inside the field stay low, whatever the edge type. Not a single mole has been observed during this study.
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.