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Food

Oehen B., Meier C. and Felder T.

There is a Market for Agrobiodiversity

The term ‘agrobiodiversity’ refers to the variety of plant cultivars and species that feature in the human diet. A study in four European countries shows that consumers are interested in this diversity. The genetic diversity of food-crop varieties and species is archived in state gene banks, and continues to serve as a starting point for…
An article by FiBL
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Plant production

Suter D., Hirschi H., Frick R.

A closer look at red clover: results of the 2016–2018 variety testing

From 2016 to 2018 inclusive, Agroscope tested 54 varieties of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) at six locations. Of these, 25 were new varieties and 29 were already-recommended varieties that were being retested. Yield, vigour, juvenile development, resistance to leaf diseases and anthracnose, winter-hardiness and persistence were all evaluated. For the persistent “mattenklee” type, the…
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Animal production

Probst St., Wasem D., Kobel D., Zehetmeier M., Flury Ch.

Greenhouse gas emissions from coupled dairy-beef production in Switzerland

Coupled dairy-beef systems are of major significance in Switzerland’s cattle sector. Using Swiss reference data, the present study modelled greenhouse gas emissions per cow and year for a range of different milk and meat yield levels. The study also determined the impact on greenhouse gas emissions of using a combination of sexed semen and beef…
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Environment

Sutter L., Aebi A., Buchwalder G., Caballé P., Dietemann V., Girardin O., Hernandez J., Jacopin-Bucher E., Mayor P., Ménétrier V., Praz Ch., Varennes Y.-D.

Farmers, beekeepers and researchers unite to safeguard pollinators

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…
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Environment

Kalberer A., Kawecki-Wenger D., Bucheli Th.

Plastic waste flows in Swiss agriculture and their risk potential for soils

Plastic products are omnipresent in our everyday lives and are so versatile and efficient that it is difficult to imagine modern agriculture without them. However, in combination with littering and as foreign materials in digestate and compost fertilisers, they are also the main source of plastic inputs on agricultural land. Using material flow analysis, this…
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Plant production

Gugerli F., Moretti M., Graf R., Maier M., Corrado C., Collatz J., Trivellone V.

Genetic diversity of Trichopria drosophilae, a natural enemy of spotted wing drosophila

Drosophila suzukii is an invasive species recently introduced in Europe and causing damages to fruit production. Trichopria drosophilae is considered one of the most suitable indigenous parasitoid to be used in biocontrol programs against D. suzukii. To characterize genetic variability and the spatial genetic structure of populations of T. drosophilae, we developed 21 species-specific molecular…
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Food

Silacci P., Dubois S., Nietlispach P., Barras B., Biolley C., Bossens A., Gobet T., Guerry D., Vonnez C., Dougoud B., Jud Khan C.

Swiss beef tenderness survey: third 2018 campaign

The third beef tenderness survey campaign was carried out during the final trimester of 2018. One hundred sixty-eight samples of beef were purchased in retail outlets, as well as 38 pork fillets for purposes of comparison. Some of the samples were also analysed as part of the beef origin verification program set up by the…
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Animal production

Signer-Hasler H., Burren A., Ammann P., Drögemüller C., Flury C.

Extent of genomic inbreeding in Swiss sheep and goat breeds

The development of modern technologies now allows thousands of genetic markers in an animal’s genome to be revealed by means of DNA genotyping. This information can be used to deduce genomic inbreeding. This is valuable for populations that have no, or only incomplete, pedigree information. Furthermore, differences in the inbreeding of full siblings can be…
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Other

Frick R., Huber K., Moschitz H., Alföldi Th.

Agricultural demonstration events: what matters

Together with institutionalised further and higher education courses, exchanges between professional colleagues have an important role to play when it comes to introducing new ideas and technologies into farming practice. Accordingly, demonstration events have a long tradition in Switzerland. Until now there has been virtually no research into the factors influencing the impacts of farming…
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Agricultural economics

Heiniger J., Hochuli A.

Direct marketing is widespread among organic farms in the Canton of Bern

Direct marketing in the agricultural sector is becoming increasingly important in Switzerland. Between 2010 and 2016, this business sector recorded an increase of 60 % across Switzerland, measured as the number of farms adopting this form of marketing. A cross-sectional comparison of the Canton of Bern was used to investigate the extent to which the…
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Agricultural economics

Binder S., Mann St.

How do the cantons support their agricultural sector?

With an agricultural policy that is largely shaped by the Confederation, Switzerland’s federalist structures are only marginally noticeable. Even so, depending on their location, farms can take part in certain cantonal programmes whilst making use of the direct-payment instruments of the Confederation. With the aim of promoting and steering regional agriculture according to local needs,…
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Plant production

Kay S., Jäger M., Herzog F.

Protecting resources with agroforestry systems: regionally adapted solutions

The Swiss Federal Government’s agricultural policy aims inter alia to provide agricultural ecosystem services, reduce environmental impacts, and increase the resilience of the agricultural sector. Combining the cultivation of trees with crops or grass – termed «agroforestry » – can contribute to achieving these goals without substantially limiting agricultural production. We identified the regions where…
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Food

Bachmann H.-P., Kohn Ch., von Ah U., Shani N.

Safety clearances for the Liebefeld cultures

The microbial strains that Agroscope uses for practical trials and which, if successful, subsequently become part of a defined mixed culture, must demonstrate a high level of safety. With this end in view, 186 strains of lactic acid bacteria from the Agroscope Culture Collection were tested for transferable antibiotic resistances, the formation of biogenic amines,…
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Environment

Janker J., Fuchs K., Krütli P.

Social sustainability in agriculture: a media analysis

Nowadays, the term «sustainability» is ubiquitous – in politics, in science, and in everyday speech. What it means, however, and what ideas are associated with it, varies significantly. Thus, for example, the social dimension is largely neglected in the discourse on sustainability. Perception of sustainability is influenced inter alia by the media, political programmes or…