The next land reform will force farmers to maximize the use of local feed resources. In the Jura, the heterogeneity of natural conditions drives to a variety of plant associations with specific production potential, often difficult to assess. Methods have been tested in plains and mountain regions to learn more about yield variability of the pastures. At the Jura foot and on its southern slope, droughts have greatly slowed the growth of grass in summer (2003) and spring (2011), causing decreases in annual yield of 40 %. The higher altitude and north exposure mitigate this negative effect, hence the interest in summering. Grass height measurements give an objective picture of the practices and consequences of a constant stocking rate on summer pastures. Small plots harvested and weighed allow a good assessment of the DM-yield and of the potential stocking rate. However, the link between botanical composition, respectively pastoral value, and yield has not been explicitly demonstrated by means of a wide range of vegetation observed on wooded pastures.
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.