Today, in addition to maize silages with a standard chop length of 5 to 10 mm, shredlage with a longer chop length (26 to 30 mm) and power maize with a higher proportion of cobs are also produced. At Agroscope, digestion experiments with sheep as well as fattening bull experiments were conducted comparing the use of these new processes versus standard maize. The maize silage was ensiled in bales and/or in tower silos in the different techniques. At the same time, the fermentation quality, microbiological quality and aerobic stability of the silages were investigated. Owing to its higher percentage of cobs and later ensilaging time, the power maize had a higher dry-matter (DM) content than the rest of the techniques, resulting in a lower lactic-acid content. Viewed as a whole, the fermentation quality of all the silages was very good. Although average values for yeasts, bacteria and moulds were in the normal range. But shredlage and the standard maize silages from the tower silo were characterised by a higher yeast count compared to standard maize in balles and powermais, which had a negative impact on aerobic stability.
Spring J.-L-, Zufferey V., Verdenal T., Reynard J.-S., Lorenzini F., Bourdin G., Blouin A., Carlen C., Jermini M., Morisoli R., Ferretti M.
Five Merlot clones bred in Switzerland are currently being distributed by the certification sector. A multiyear trial conducted by Agroscope in Gudo (Canton of Ticino) has made it possible to compare them with French and Italian reference clones and to highlight their very good performances.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are important for healthy soils and crops. A pan-European study shows that plant-protection products adversely affect these fungi, reducing their ability to supply plants with phosphorus via their roots.
Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin are used in mixtures for perennial hay meadows and for tannin-containing fodder. Agroscope is adding two new cultivars of birdsfoot trefoil to the ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’, whilst there is no change in the case of sainfoin.