Since 2000 Switzerland belongs to the 22 European countries where the quarantine pest Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, Western corn rootworm, has been detected. It’s reported to be the most important maize pest worldwide with an economical damage up to 1,5 Billion $. In Switzerland, it’s constantly present in the southern part of the Alps, while few beetles are sporadically found in the northern part. Observations during 12 years allowed to determine that the populations in the southern part of the Alps are generated by yearly migrations from the principal foci of neighbored Lombardy. The correlations referred to space and time versus the distance to the south border are hardly leaving doubts. Control measures enacted by Swiss authorities were principally based on a severe crop rotation without the use of chemicals as in the European Union. The effect of crop rotation has been tested in a 5 year field trial. Results showed that no economic population has been built up during this period in the crop rotation treatment, confirming observations of the actual practice.
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.