Previous criteria used to measure social sustainability have their limits in the case of family farms. We propose focusing on workload. Initial results show that this is an easy-to-use and meaningful indicator.
To reduce plant-protection product use, we need to know what behavioural patterns farmers follow when using plant-protection products in their crops. This was the subject of a study conducted by Agroscope in Switzerland.
Why do Swiss farmers complain about the administrative burden associated with the direct payments system? Studies conducted by Agroscope show that the issue is not the time required: other factors are more important.
Divico, Agroscope’s new disease-resistant grape variety, is noted for the quality of its wines. Blending trials with the Pinot Noir variety have shown that Divico is also highly suitable for correcting colour intensity in the latter.
A study by Vetsuisse shows that the outdoor veal calf concept reduces antibiotic consumption in calf fattening by 80%. AGRIDEA has examined the economic viability of outdoor veal calf production and concludes that it cannot compete with conventional veal calf fattening.
Crimson clover is essentially used as a catch crop in association with ryegrass. The comparative trial conducted in 2019-21 has led to the addition of two new acquisitions to the List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants.
To ensure a good harvest while protecting the environment, a nitrogen surplus must be avoided. Agroscope is investigating how the application of nitrogen fertiliser can be better adapted to soil replenishment and the needs of the plants.
Farmers are increasingly required to communicate electronically with the authorities. This is obligatory regarding the management of direct payments and the livestock census. Agroscope interviewed farmers on their perception of the administrative workload.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are like a “life-insurance policy for plants”. They improve soil structure and make nutrients and water available. This increases the stress tolerance of crops and leads to better yields.
Farmer acceptance plays a crucial role in establishing optimal flower strips. A survey conducted by Agroscope, FiBL and HAFL shows that pollinator flower strips work in practice, and lead to high satisfaction.
How is digitalisation changing agriculture and agricultural policy? A European team with the participation of Agroscope, the FOAG and the ETH developed four scenarios from which strategies were derived for the future achievement of agricultural policy goals.
Agroscope investigated the effects on dairy cows of an all-herbage ration compared with a concentrate-supplemented ration. The study shows that an all-herbage ration is possible for suitable dairy cow types.
Agroscope has developed risk indicators for plant protection products. These indicators highlight risk trends over time for important environmental compartments. Based on sales volumes of active substances, they take account of specific risk reduction measures.
The preservation of soil fertility and multiple soil functions faces various challenges both in Switzerland and throughout Europe. A survey carried out in Switzerland among people from practice, government agencies and research highlights problems and possible solutions.
The invasive weed yellow nutsedge creates considerable problems for Swiss producers in arable and vegetable crops. In a four-year project, stakeholders from research and practice evaluated various control strategies on-farm.
Grass-fed milk production meets a customer need, and is linked to specific feed and animal-welfare requirements. An Agroscope study sought to determine the circumstances in which grass-fed milk production is worthwhile.
Fattening pigs suffer when it is hot. Timely provision of cooling measures increases both animal welfare and success in pig fattening. Researchers at Agroscope examined which indicators reliably indicate heat stress in fattening pigs.
Model calculations show how climate change will affect the water requirement for different crops grown on the Swiss Central Plateau. This will allow us to proactively plan for crop irrigation and adaptation to the changing climate.
Wireworms cause significant crop losses in potatoes. This study investigated the efficacy of a fungus in decimating wireworm populations in the winter cover crop. The strategy was partially successful, but must be further optimised for use in practice.
Together with project partners, Agroscope investigated soil carbon sequestration potentials for 24 European countries. Carbon sequestration could offset 0.1% to 27% of greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture per annum.
Excess nitrogen is excreted in the urine and leads to higher ammonia emissions. Nitrogen in the urine of dairy cows can be estimated based on the urea content of their milk. This information can be used to optimise protein feeding.
Bacterial diseases can have a huge impact on potato production yields.
The method for detecting these diseases used in Switzerland to date does not allow the growing demand for tests to be met. Agroscope is implementing new solutions.