There are three methods available for evaluating sustainability at farm level that were developed in Switzerland: RISE, SMART und SALCAsustain. In this article, the three methods are compared by means of a list of criteria and several concrete examples with the aim of making it easier for readers to decide which tool is best suited for their own specific application and target group. All three methods cover sustainability comprehensively, and concrete measures for improvement and decision-making can be derived for the relevant interest groups from the results. The details show that SALCAsustain is suitable for answering research queries as well as analysing different farm-management strategies. RISE’s strength is its flexible applicability which allows for its use in extension and teaching, and in the comparison of farms and groups of farms. SMART enables rapid screening of farm sustainability and provides results which also allow for inter-farm comparisons and which can easily be communicated to third parties. The choice of the appropriate method therefore depends on the question posed as well as on the target group.
Gilgen A., Felder R., Baumgartner S., Herzog F., Jeanneret P., Séchaud R., Paunovic S., Merbold L.
Agroscope researchers tested the FAO method for assessing the agroecological status of farms in Switzerland for the first time, demonstrating the advantages of a holistic evaluation as well as the limits of the tool.
In wheat crops, pesticides can be used more sparingly without sacrificing cost-efficiency. With oilseed rape the situation is more difficult, since the reduced yields are not offset by higher revenues. These are the findings of the analysis of the first two harvest years of the PestiRed project.
Soil samples can be measured directly in the field by means of spectroscopy. Agroscope researchers have tested mobile devices and shown how to make the best use of them.