within the context of a five-year silage maize monitoring programme (2010–2014) in the cantons of Aargau and Bern, Agroscope investigated Fusarium infection and mycotoxin contamination of silage maize, as well as the influence of cropping factors including variety, previous crop, tillage, and sowing and harvest dates. Out of 169 harvest samples, 167 showed a mean Fusarium fungus incidence of 57%. A wide variety of Fusarium species was observed; in addition, a number of samples contained mycotoxin levels exceeding the guidance values for feed. Samples from silage maize fields with reduced tillage showed a significantly higher contamination with deoxynivalenol (DON) than samples from ploughed fields. Samples from fields with a later harvest date were more heavily infected with F. graminearum, and higher DON and zearalenone levels were observed. In contrast, previous crop and corn borer infestation did not have a significant influence on Fusarium infection and mycotoxin concentration, whereas the prevailing weather conditions had the strongest effect on Fusarium infection. This study clearly demonstrated that the sowing of early silage maize varieties and early harvesting significantly reduces the risk of Fusarium infection and mycotoxin contamination.
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.
Tall oat grass and golden oat grass are typical hay-meadow grasses that are also suitable for forage mixtures. Of the four tall and three golden oat grass varieties tested, only one new variety of tall oat grass is likely to make it onto the List of Recommended Varieties.
Stevenel P., Wendling M., Brabant C., Suss H., Savoyat C., Dierauer H., Mascher F., Charles R.
FiBL and Agroscope investigated bread wheat varieties to determine their yield and quality stability. The results show that the choice of variety must be adapted to the site and that high yield potential does not go hand-in-hand with a high protein content.