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.
Spring J.-L-, Zufferey V., Verdenal T., Reynard J.-S., Lorenzini F., Bourdin G., Blouin A., Carlen C., Jermini M., Morisoli R., Ferretti M.
Five Merlot clones bred in Switzerland are currently being distributed by the certification sector. A multiyear trial conducted by Agroscope in Gudo (Canton of Ticino) has made it possible to compare them with French and Italian reference clones and to highlight their very good performances.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are important for healthy soils and crops. A pan-European study shows that plant-protection products adversely affect these fungi, reducing their ability to supply plants with phosphorus via their roots.
Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin are used in mixtures for perennial hay meadows and for tannin-containing fodder. Agroscope is adding two new cultivars of birdsfoot trefoil to the ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’, whilst there is no change in the case of sainfoin.