The use of wood ashes as potash fertilizer was tested on sunflower. The greenhouse experiment was conducted in Changins and used wood ashes provided by the wood power station Enerbois (Vaud). These ashes contained high amounts of Ca and K but also trace elements, particularly Cu, Zn and Ni. Results of the trial highlighted an efficiency of K contained in these ashes equivalent to that of KCl used as reference potassic fertilizer. In NPKMglimiting conditions, the wood ashes had a positive effect on the biomass of sunflower and the absorption of K, but they reduced the amount of absorbed Ni and Zn, probably because of the negative effect of liming on the solubility of these elements. In not-NPKMg-limiting conditions, the same trends were observed regarding the biomass and the absorption of Ni and Zn. This trial showed that despite Ni and Cu contents beyond the limits currently approved in Switzerland for recycling fertilizer, it is above all the K levels that limit the amount of ashes to be spread.
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.