To improve the underlying data for emission inventories, particulate matter (PM10) emissions were determined for the most common loose-housing system in Switzerland. Emission measurements were conducted in two out of three seasons (summer, transition period, winter) per farm in six naturally ventilated dairy loose-housing systems comprising cubicles, solid floors and an outdoor exercise area. PM10 was collected cumulatively over 72 hours with impactors (particle separators) at a total of 9 to 14 measuring points in the housing and outdoor exercise area, as well as in the background. A tracer ratio method with two tracer gases (SF6 and SF5CF3) was used to determine the emissions. PM10 concentrations in the animal area were usually just above or within the range of the background concentration. Across all farms, PM10 emissions varied between 0,02 and 2,1 g per livestock unit and day. At 0,64 g per cow and day, the derived PM10 emission factor is considerably lower than those used to date in the inventories.
Those wishing to promote biodiversity in agriculture by means of result-based schemes need meaningful indicators. An overview of proposed and used indicators highlights developments and challenges.
Foods of animal origin – friend or foe? It all depends on the needs of consumers and on local production conditions, as shown by a major review in which Agroscope took part.
In vegetable production it is usual to leave crop residues on the field. Measurements carried out by Agroscope researchers show that removing these residues significantly reduces nitrate leaching.