As part of the Proof of Ecological Performance (PEP), Switzerland requires special permits to be obtained for the use in cereals and potato production of authorised insecticides which have a potential to impact beneficial arthropods. In order to test the impact of this PEP requirement, a reference variant illustrating the current PEP requirements was compared with other insecticide variants. For this purpose, a sustainability assessment taking account of ecotoxicological risks and economic viability in addition preservation of beneficials was performed according to the «SustainOS» methodology. The results show that the one-off use of Audienz (spinosad) against cereal-leaf beetle would significantly improve sustainability vis-à-vis the reference (Nomolt [teflubenzuron] plus Biscaya [thiacloprid]). In the case of Colorado beetle, however, where Audienz is considered the reference, no alternative which would exhibit better sustainability could be found. Furthermore, the study shows that variants with Novodor (Bacillus thuringiensis) are friendly to beneficials, but pose an increased risk to yield and incur higher costs. Consequently, it can be recommended that the PEP requirements with respect to Colorado beetle be retained and adapted for cereal-leaf beetle.
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.