Designing and supporting change processes in agriculture is a challenge for management, science and advisory services. In regions where large predators were eradicated and, thanks to stricter European protective provisions, make a comeback, livestock owners are faced with major changes. The ”Summer grazing of sheep in the canton of Valais“ project shows how extension and knowledge transfer can create long-term processes in a politically polarised environment. The national framework is formed by wolf-management and agricultural policy, which influence the practice of small-livestock farming. A look at developments since 2003 confirms the national trend towards better control of the animals in summer grazing through shepherding and rotational grazing fields. The survey conducted in the context of the inspection of 155 mountain sheep pastures in the canton of Valais shows that in addition to political and socio-economic factors, psychological and ecological aspects should also be taken into account. The results of the Valais mountain sheep-pasture planning and developments in flock protection demonstrate that the combination of extension and sound planning principles represent a confidence-building basis for developing and implementing both individual and collective strategies for dealing with the presence of wolves.
Livestock can convert grassland and by-products into valuable food. But how many animals would Switzerland need if arable land were primarily used for food production instead of animal feed?
Which stakeholders in the dairy sector have an influence on the productive life of dairy cows? Research results from FiBL and Agroscope suggest that broad-based cooperation is needed to create structures for a longer productive life.
Agriculture is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions. Agroscope showed that for dairy cattle housing, feed composition plays a role in these emissions as well as wind and temperature.