Two methods are used in Switzerland to optimise the nitrogen fertilisation of field crops: the «corrected norms» method and the Nmin method. Each of the methods suggests a different approach: the «corrected norms» method takes into account field characteristics influencing nitrogen availability, while the Nmin method is based on the measurement of mineral nitrogen present in the soil during periods that are crucial for the plants growth. In this article, both methods are evaluated using nitrogen fertilisation experiments performed by Agroscope for a wide range of arable crops and pedoclimatic conditions. The advantages and limits of each method are presented, and ways for improvement are suggested.
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.