A recent study at the ETH Zurich shows that the development of agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Switzerland will, also in the near future, mainly depend on the development of livestock populations. Current GHG reduction measures may only play a marginal role, given their relatively high cost. Furthermore, the results indicate that the target of reducing agricultural GHGs by 20% below the 1990 level could be achieved with a GHG charge of 50 CHF/t CO2eq only if at the same time the agricultural price level would be lowered. Yet, this would entail substantial income losses for the farmers.
Those wishing to promote biodiversity in agriculture by means of result-based schemes need meaningful indicators. An overview of proposed and used indicators highlights developments and challenges.
Foods of animal origin – friend or foe? It all depends on the needs of consumers and on local production conditions, as shown by a major review in which Agroscope took part.
In vegetable production it is usual to leave crop residues on the field. Measurements carried out by Agroscope researchers show that removing these residues significantly reduces nitrate leaching.