Since 2009 agricultural data are collected within the framework of the project Farm Accountancy Data Network Agro-Environmental Indicators (AEI FADN). The indicator «pesticide usage» consists of key figures characterizing the practice of chemical plant protection. The crop specific number of spray rounds quantifies both the total number of times a crop has been treated, and also the number of treatments according to the major pesticide group. While there is a substantial regional variability, the mean number of spray rounds seems relatively stable. Differences to earlier surveys are minor, except in the case of oilseed rape. Although the survey currently covers only 1% of the area used for crop production in Switzerland, there is a fair agreement between the projected usage and the sales in the case of frequently used active ingredients. The estimates are uncertain for orchards and vines. In the case of vegetables there are not sufficient data available. In order to assess the potential environmental impacts, an ecotoxicological risk indicator based on the pesticide usage data is currently developed.
Stucky T., Hochstrasser M., Meyer S., Segessemann T., Ruthes A. C., Ahrens C. H., Dahlin P., Pelludat C.
The root knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita causes damage in field and greenhouse crops. Agroscope researchers have developed a new screening test to identify bacteria that antagonise this agricultural pest.
With CULTAN fertilisation, nitrogen is injected into the soil as an ammonium solution. Multi-year trials conducted by Agroscope show that this method reduces nitrogen leaching by an average 38% without negatively affecting yields.
Tuta absoluta is one of the most destructive pests of solanaceous crops. Agroscope has developed a statistical model to study the population dynamics of the pest and its parasitoids and allows interventions to be optimally planned.