Trees in agricultural landscapes provide important benefits for the environment. Nevertheless, they are disappearing from cultivated land due to economic and operational reasons. In modern agroforestry systems, trees are planted in rows on agricultural land in order to facilitate the mechanical processing.The economic and ecological potential of modern agroforestry systems in Switzerland were examined. Productivity per hectare, profitability and environmental benefits were estimated using computer-aided models. The results show an up to 30% higher productivity (per unit area) of agroforestry systems compared to monocultures. In the long term, agroforestry systems can become economic profitable. On fertile arable land, they may reduce soil erosion by 78% and nitrate leaching by 46%as well as sequester up to 133 tons of carbon in 60 years. In interviews, farmers were questioned about their perception of benefits and disadvantages of agroforestry. Farmers rate agroforestry systems as non-productive and unprofitable. However, they admit a benefit for biodiversity and cultural landscape. Farmers need to be made aware of the many agroforestry designs and their economic potential, based on the experience of pioneer farmers.
Stucky T., Hochstrasser M., Meyer S., Segessemann T., Ruthes A. C., Ahrens C. H., Dahlin P., Pelludat C.
The root knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita causes damage in field and greenhouse crops. Agroscope researchers have developed a new screening test to identify bacteria that antagonise this agricultural pest.
With CULTAN fertilisation, nitrogen is injected into the soil as an ammonium solution. Multi-year trials conducted by Agroscope show that this method reduces nitrogen leaching by an average 38% without negatively affecting yields.
Tuta absoluta is one of the most destructive pests of solanaceous crops. Agroscope has developed a statistical model to study the population dynamics of the pest and its parasitoids and allows interventions to be optimally planned.