Within the framework of a European project called GL-Pro (European extension network for the development of grain legume production in the EU), a crop demonstration network for grain legumes was set up for evaluating the potential of these crops to enhance their development. In Switzerland, crops grown by farmers were observed to evaluate their specificities, assets and weaknesses. These results were compared with European network ones. Field pea shows highest and most stable yields. Spring faba bean and white lupin are interesting alternatives. Pea is the best adapted wintering grain legume. The cultivation of winter faba bean is also possible. Blue lupin provides lower yield, whereas winter lupin represents too many risks under Swiss climatic conditions. On the basis of results obtained from 2003 to 2005, grain legumes prove to be very sensitive to climatic conditions which lead to some insufficient yield levels and stability. The large diversity of usable species in Switzerland can help to mitigate these problems.
Spring J.-L-, Zufferey V., Verdenal T., Reynard J.-S., Lorenzini F., Bourdin G., Blouin A., Carlen C., Jermini M., Morisoli R., Ferretti M.
Five Merlot clones bred in Switzerland are currently being distributed by the certification sector. A multiyear trial conducted by Agroscope in Gudo (Canton of Ticino) has made it possible to compare them with French and Italian reference clones and to highlight their very good performances.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are important for healthy soils and crops. A pan-European study shows that plant-protection products adversely affect these fungi, reducing their ability to supply plants with phosphorus via their roots.
Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin are used in mixtures for perennial hay meadows and for tannin-containing fodder. Agroscope is adding two new cultivars of birdsfoot trefoil to the ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’, whilst there is no change in the case of sainfoin.