This work presents a method for assessing pesticides transfer risks to the surface water by erosion and runoff. It was developed in a part of the watershed of the Boiron de Morges (Vaud, Switzerland). This method combines observations in the field with the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It considers timeless and timely factors. An evaluation grid permits to classify the different factors by the risk severity they generate. Their combination then allows to produce a synthetic map showing the transfer risks of pesticides in the whole zone examined. This method makes not only possible to identify the plots with an inherent risk of high transfer, but also the factors responsible for it. Once the plots have been identified, targeted measures can be envisaged to limit the soil loss and the pesticides transfer.
Symbiotic nitrogen fixation by bacteria in the soil coexisting with legumes leads to reduced fertiliser requirement. It is not easy to measure this variable on farms, however. Now researchers from Agroscope have developed a method for estimating nitrogen input via symbiotic fixation at farm level.
With increasing global and regional temperatures, even in Switzerland the growing season has lengthened considerably. Using data from the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, Agroscope has traced the development of the growing season since the start of the previous century.
The phosphate mineral reserves required for fertiliser production could be exhausted on a global scale in just a few decades. This study presents a method for recycling a Swiss industrial by-product into a phosphate fertiliser.