Metschnikowia pulcherrima is a naturally occurring yeast with applications in agriculture, the food industry and biotechnology. Agroscope is investigating this yeast in particular with regard to biocontrol applications in plant protection.
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.
Horses are ridden or driven on a variety of surfaces, which differently absorb the impact forces exerted on hooves, limbs and the horse's entire body. Objective measurement of the functional properties of equestrian arena surfaces is therefore of great importance.
The SALCA life cycle assessment method was comprehensively updated in light of new needs, systematically documented and reviewed by external specialists. This will allow a wide range of research issues in the agriculture and food sector to be addressed.
A programme has been launched for safeguarding the genetic diversity of Arvine, a grape variety formerly cultivated in Valais. Directed selection would make it possible to exploit this variety's biodiversity and to meet the ecological and economic challenges of the future.
Cheese stands out as one of the main Swiss agricultural trade offensive interests. Outside the EU, the USA are an important export destination. The CAPRI model allows to assess the impact of a free trade agreement for cheese between the USA and CH.
Net zero emission targets can only be achieved by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Agroscope has modelled soil carbon storage, food production and agricultural greenhouse gas emission trends for Switzerland.
Nutrient losses in agricultural production are a global problem. A lysimeter test now shows that soil organisms can make a major contribution to increasing nutrient use efficiency in arable farming and reducing nutrient losses.
Agroscope researchers tested the FAO method for assessing the agroecological status of farms in Switzerland for the first time, demonstrating the advantages of a holistic evaluation as well as the limits of the tool.
Which stakeholders in the dairy sector have an influence on the productive life of dairy cows? Research results from FiBL and Agroscope suggest that broad-based cooperation is needed to create structures for a longer productive life.
Policies to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are more effective and more efficient if they are set at the regional level and not at the level of individual farms. This can help achieve climate targets.
The root knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita causes damage in field and greenhouse crops. Agroscope researchers have developed a new screening test to identify bacteria that antagonise this agricultural pest.
In wheat crops, pesticides can be used more sparingly without sacrificing cost-efficiency. With oilseed rape the situation is more difficult, since the reduced yields are not offset by higher revenues. These are the findings of the analysis of the first two harvest years of the PestiRed project.
Tannin-containing feedstuffs like Acacia mearnsii and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) have a measurable impact in reducing methane emissions from dairy cows. However, since these feedstuffs in some cases lead to productivity losses, careful consideration must be given to their use.
With CULTAN fertilisation, nitrogen is injected into the soil as an ammonium solution. Multi-year trials conducted by Agroscope show that this method reduces nitrogen leaching by an average 38% without negatively affecting yields.
Global food availability is expected to remain stable in the medium term. Food security challenges in Switzerland include the decline in agricultural land area per capita, higher incidence of extreme weather events and increased pressure from pests.
Soya-, cereal-, seed- or nut-based plant drinks are consumed increasingly frequently as milk substitutes. Agroscope researchers have studied the macro- and micronutrients in these drinks and have identified major differences between the plant drinks themselves as well as in comparison with milk.
Different cultural backgrounds lead to different uptake of biodiversity agri-environmental schemes at the inner-Swiss French-German language border. Economic policy incentives could mitigate culture-driven behavioral differences.
Cheese varieties from Switzerland are characterised according to various criteria. Agroscope analysed the free volatile carboxylic acids in ten cheese varieties and demonstrated that the latter are suitable for characterisation and differentiation.
Symbiotic nitrogen fixation by bacteria in the soil coexisting with legumes leads to reduced fertiliser requirement. It is not easy to measure this variable on farms, however. Now researchers from Agroscope have developed a method for estimating nitrogen input via symbiotic fixation at farm level.
The agricultural sector as an aggregate proved resilient to the COVID-19 shock. But how did it impact agribusiness firms within the sector? Using the Swiss case, we provide the first set of evidence on how agri-food importing firms survived the pandemic economically.