Recent studies show a decline in the abundance and diversity of wild pollinators, as well as an increase in honeybee mortality. These pollinators are an integral part of biodiversity and play an essential role in the growing of certain crops and in wild plant reproduction. In the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Jura, and in Bernese Jura, nine agricultural measures have recently been proposed by the “Agriculture and pollinators” project. These measures aim to increase the food resources available in the agricultural environment often deficient in flowers, and to promote pollinator-friendly farming practices. A further objective is to improve communication between the various partners involved. A key aspect of this project is a rigorous scientific monitoring to verify the effectiveness of these measures. The originality and importance of this eight-year study lie in its broad geographical coverage, long duration and close cooperation between the interdisciplinary research team and beekeepers, farmers and policy-makers, aimed at developing more sustainable farming and beekeeping practices based on scientific evidence.
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.