The Response-Inducing Sustainability Evaluation (RISE) summarizes, based on twelve indicators ecological, economical and social aspect of agricultural production at the farm level. Within the Mountain Dairy Project RISE was used to assess the overall goals of the individual farm strategies. Although an improvement on the economic indicators can be seen, an overall sustainable situation on average and in summary could neither be achieved in the current nor in the targeted situation; based in particular on the negative degree of sustainability on the indicator Economic Efficiency. Regardless of the economic optimizations an average calculated loss remains even in the targeted situation. The degrees of sustainability of the ecological as well as social indicators all appear positive and remain alike for the target situation. Nevertheless a number of distinct ecological parameters were identified as problematic in both cases (energy requirements form various fuels and electricity per workforce and year, deficits due to losses of ammonia into the air from the manure application, and to advance fodder availability on the participating farms from the Lower Engadine, environmentally friendly irrigation management may be recommended) The methodic addition of the holistic sustainability analysis RISE throughout a strategic planning process is desirable as it enhances the outcome and discussion with otherwise ignored aspects of sustainability and multifunctionality.
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.