What is the effect of a low-protein feed supplement on the ammonia emissions from dairy cattle on pasture? To answer this question, the ammonia emissions from two pasture-based feeding systems with dairy cattle were measured and compared between May and October. In the first system (G) the cows fed exclusively on pasture grass, whilst in the second system (M) 25 % maize silage was supplemented. This resulted in a reduced ratio of protein to energy in the M ration, and correspondingly the amount of excreted nitrogen decreased by around 19 %. The intensive rotational grazing allowed to investigate the temporal dynamics of ammonia emissions. A steady increase was observed during the grazing periods, followed by a relatively quick exponential drop afterwards. Overall, emissions showed only a weak seasonal variation, but significantly lower values (– 40 %) for system M than for system G. The results not only confirm the emission factor for pasture used in the Swiss Inventory, but also show that reduced-protein feed can contribute to a reduction in ammonia emissions.
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.