The areas of ecological compensation (AEC) required for farms receiving subventions have so far delivered modest results against the loss of biodiversity in cultivated landscape of Switzerland. Insufficient ecological quality and inadequate locations of these areas are to blame. The results of our study show that whole-farmadvisory can efficiently improve the situation even on intensive farms of the Swiss plateau. All participating farms were willing to sign contracts that will increase the mean AEC from 8,9 to 13,5 % of their agricultural area in use (AAU). Crucially, the quality of the AEC according to the ordinance on ecological quality increases from 3,3 to 8,5 % of the AAU. This substantial improvement of the ecological performances can be reached without negative impacts on production or farming income. On the contrary, the gains and profit contributions increase by CHF 3500.– and CHF 3491.– per farm, respectively.
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.