In Switzerland, agriculture is responsible for about 11 % of the emitted greenhouse gases. Agroforestry systems may improve the climate balance of Swiss agriculture by sequestering carbon. Agroforestry systems are a combination of a lignifying permanent crop with a crop or with grassland on the same area. One advantage is their capability to sequester carbon, that is stored in the permanent crop’s wood or as an enrichment of humus in the soils. After harvesting, the wood can be used as timber/furniture wood or as a substitute for fossil energy sources. In both cases, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. Applying this system to a Swiss farm specialized in milk production or suckler cows can reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero without reducing the animal production. In our analysis, this reduction generates additional costs of at least 9 centimes per kilogram milk or 80 centimes per kilogram meat. If the emissions shall be reduced without reducing production of milk or meat, additional costs of at least 10 centimes per kilogram milk or 90 centimes per kilogram meat are generated.
Grass-based beef production is markedly less productive than intensive year-round indoor-housing system-based production. Agroscope experts therefore studied how grass-based farms can produce both economically and in an ecologically sound manner.
Orchard crop spraying using unmanned aerial spraying systems commonly referred to as drones can lead to drift, posing a risk to residents and bystanders. The study shows that the risks arising from this are taken into account by the current registration process.
Trials conducted by FiBL have shown that conversion to organic farming also promotes endangered Red List species such as the carabid beetle species Amara tricuspidata. This species and other species consume seeds of forbs and grasses and thus supports natural weed control.