ACW developed an Excel based tool called ArboPlus to help growers to roughly evaluate their situation on orchard, farm and family level. Information has been collected within workshops and interviews with consultants for fruit production and business. At orchard level, growers can analyze their productivity and compare it with a benchmark. At farm level, they can evaluate the balance, cash flow, cooperation, satisfaction with their employees and buyers, retirement arrangements and employment situation. Family level can also be evaluated: sharing of work, cohabitation of generations, self competences and external workplace. The main results are summarized on four issues: work-life-balance, finance, selling and work. With this information, it’s possible to choose the objectives and define strategies. In the following year, growers are able to control the achievement of their objectives. Thus, with ArboPlus growers can roughly analyse their economic situation. Topics such as plant protection and environmental aspects are not integrated. ArboPlus has been developed for fruit growers and is only available in German so far.
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.