Bt maize represents a targeted and efficient measure for controlling certain pests. Replacing broad-spectrum insecticides with Bt maize produces environmental benefits, for example because this approach does not harm beneficial organisms. Growers can produce high-quality products with low time and resource investment. Resistance evolution and potential secondary pest outbreaks are risks for the sustainable use of Bt maize that require appropriate management plans (refuges, encouragement of natural enemies) and monitoring. Despite higher seed prices and administrative requirements, Bt-maize growers in areas with high pest pressure have generally been able to increase their gross margin. With the non-authorisation of Bt maize in several European countries, however, not all producers can make use of this economic potential. In the context of integrated production, Bt maize could be used in combination with other measures.
Herbicide-resistant weeds are a growing problem throughout the world. Monitoring herbicide resistance in Switzerland allows us to understand the mechanisms behind it and to better manage the use of herbicides.
Agroscope compared crop protection strategies in apple production. Reducing the use of plant-protection products lowered the local ecotoxological risks, but resulted in trade-offs between environmental and economic performance.
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium proteins protect Bt maize from being fed on by specific insects. A new, systematic analysis of international field data confirms that non-target organisms in Bt maize are largely spared.