Four different scenarios for the reduction of diffuse nutrient inputs from agriculture to water bodies in Switzerland were analysed for the period 2010 to 2025 in a multidisciplinary project. The agricultural sector model SWISSland was used to examine the economic and structural effects, and the influence on the direct payments budget and sectoral income, following implementation of emission mitigation measures. The substance flow model MODIFFUS was employed to estimate the diffuse nitrogen and phosphorus inputs from agriculture into bodies of water. The agricultural life cycle assessment method SALCA was used to determine the environmental effects, including those of imported products. All four scenarios lead to extensification in arable farming and forage crop production. Depending on the scenario, nitrogen inputs from farmland are projected to decline by 5 – 25 % from 2010 to 2025, and phosphorus losses by 7 – 20 %. Domestic production would decrease for many products and import volumes would rise. The reduction in nutrient inputs into water bodies in Switzerland would therefore lead to a shifting of environmental impact to other countries.
Grass-based beef production is markedly less productive than intensive year-round indoor-housing system-based production. Agroscope experts therefore studied how grass-based farms can produce both economically and in an ecologically sound manner.
Orchard crop spraying using unmanned aerial spraying systems commonly referred to as drones can lead to drift, posing a risk to residents and bystanders. The study shows that the risks arising from this are taken into account by the current registration process.
Trials conducted by FiBL have shown that conversion to organic farming also promotes endangered Red List species such as the carabid beetle species Amara tricuspidata. This species and other species consume seeds of forbs and grasses and thus supports natural weed control.