With the publication of the „environmental objectives in the agricultural sector “(EOAS), mandatory target values for biodiversity on agricultural land have been set for the first time. We present a novel index which indicates population trends of the designated EOAS breeding birds and hence represents one part of the EOAS target attainments. The situation for farmland birds is still critical. The index for birds listed as “EOAS character species” shows no long-term trend, but the one for the “EOAS target species” has clearly declined from 1990-2009, whereas no trend is apparent for 1999-2009. Among the species with positive population trends are generally widely distributed and opportunistic species as well as species which benefit from recent climate changes or from recovery programmes. We conclude that tools and measures within the development of the Swiss direct payments system have to be better targeted and improved to achieve the EOAS attainments.
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.