The two research stations Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART and Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil ACW conducted variety trials with tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreber) and timothy (Phleum pratense L.), at six and seven locations respectively, in the years 2006 to 2008. The following traits were systematically assessed: yield, juvenile development, vigour, competitive ability, disease resistance, persistence and digestible organic matter. The leaf structure of winter hardiness and tall fescue and the adaptation to higher altitudes of timothy have also been accounted for. An index-value was calculated from the results allowing for a comparison and evaluation of the varieties tested. Four new varieties of tall fescue will be added to the «List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants»: «Callina», «Otaria», «Dauphine» and «Elodie». The formerly recommended varieties «Elfina» and «Kora» did not attain the current required index for recommendation and will be deleted from the list. However, they can be sold as recommended varieties until the end of 2011. With timothy none of the new varieties reached the index-value required for recommendation. For all previously recommended varieties the index-values allow for the prolongation of their recommendation. Since sales of the formerly recommended variety «Richmond» have been discontinued, this variety is deleted from the list.
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.