From 2011 through 2013, 36 varieties of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) were examined in comparative variety trials at five experimental sites. All varieties were grown in pure stands and in mixture with gramineous plants. The parameters assessed were dry matter yield, juvenile development, regrowth speed, general impression, stem thickness, competitive ability, persistence, digestibility of organic matter, and resistance to leaf diseases and winter conditions. For each variety, an index-value based on measurements and observations of yield was calculated, allowing an accurate comparison of the varieties. According to the results, four new varieties of alfalfa (Catera, Eride, Artemis and Gea) will be added to the «List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants». The previously recommended variety Vanda was removed from the list, owing to the bad quality of stem thickness, but may be used in commerce until the end of 2016.
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.