Agroscope has comprehensively characterised the cheese variety Raclette du Valais PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). With the reference values obtained, cheese-dairy advisory services will be able to identify cheese defects more easily in future.
Consumer acceptance plays a key role in the introduction of new grape varieties. An Agridea consumer survey reveals a great openness to fungus-tolerant varieties that lend themselves to particularly environmentally friendly cultivation methods.
Dairy farms are responsible for a significant proportion of greenhouse gases from agriculture. In order to quantify emissions at farm level and identify suitable emissions reduction measures, HAFL researchers developed a model for calculating greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farms.
In the coming years, farm succession will become a topical issue for many Swiss farming families. However, the process is demanding. A research and development project at BFH-HAFL highlights challenges and presents tools
The RumiWatch system is a smart farming tool, which enables an accurate detection of eating and rumination behaviours performed by dairy cows. The aim of the researchers was to check, if the system that was already established in science for its practical usage.
In order to increase the competitiveness of Swiss milk production, the performance of the farms must be improved. Agroscope shows that the majority of producers work efficiently, but that the differences in productivity are great.
BFH-HAFL investigated three non-hardy green-manure mixtures and their effect on organic maize: A legume-rich green manure showed very high nitrogen enrichment and a positive effect on the early juvenile development of maize.
A secured field on Agroscope’s Reckenholz site enables field research with genetically modified (GM) plants. In addition to research results, it provides findings on how GM plants might be handled in agriculture, as well as offering the public a window into this research.
Fungal toxins in wheat endanger the health of humans and animals. Agroscope investigated three cropping systems under reduced tillage to improve the quality and yield of wheat harvests using alternative crop protection strategies.
Fruit and wine producers who receive information from the public sector are more likely to use preventive measures such as nets or hygiene measures to combat spotted-wing drosophila. Producers advised by private firms that sell plant-protection products are more likely to use synthetic insecticides.
Run-off and erosion contribute to the pollution of water by plant protection products. Targeted measures to reduce this pollution require detailed field analysis. Existing methods have now been compared for the first time in order to assess their suitability.
Maize is one of the most important crops in Switzerland. Variety selection and site adaptation play a crucial role in maize cultivation in a changing climate. Heat-supply maps created by Agroscope help in the choice of suitable varieties.
The Swiss ‘Green Book’ feeding recommendations for fattening cattle are no longer suitable for today’s animals and current production conditions. An updating of datasets for system calibration is essential.
In Swiss agriculture, conflicts arise between production and the protection of water resources. These were studied by means of multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA): objectives are defined, evaluation functions proposed and measures analysed.
The pastures of low-productive Highland Cattle are particularly species-rich because of their relatively low weight, undemandingness and slowness. This is borne out by Agroscope and AgroVet Strickhof studies.
Livestock farming is sometimes criticised for creating competition between feed and food production. However, the animals fulfil an important function by recycling plant by-products and thus closing nutrient cycles.
In the Swiss lowland, the quantity of biodiversity promoting areas (BPA, i.e. options of the Swiss agri-environment scheme) clearly exeeds the stipulated 7%.The quality of the BPA has been improved as well. However, three forth of the BPA are still barely recognizable as semi-natural areas in the field.
The training programme for farmworkers imparts broad skills to academically weak learners. What chances do they have on the labour market today and in the future and how do they succeed in making the transition to further training?
Tall fescue is valued as a high-yielding, robust forage grass. For ley farming, fine-leaved, nutritious varieties which are well-liked by livestock are in demand. Agroscope’s most recent variety test has yielded two new top varieties.
Despite its focus on other, higher-priority criteria, the soybean breeding programme in Switzerland has yielded varieties that are tolerant of soybean mosaic virus (SMV) – the most serious of the viral diseases.
In Switzerland, implementing the Drinking-Water Initiative would have positive consequences for the environment, but more food would have to be imported. A life-cycle assessment study by Agroscope analyses the overall impact.
Chlorpropham (CIPC), the main sprout suppressant used when storing commercial potatoes, is now prohibited in Switzerland. Agroscope tested alternative substances in order to guarantee the production of indigenous chips and crisps.
100%-organic feeding of piglets has been discussed for a long time. A feeding trial on commercial farms shows that completely organic diets are suitable for piglets, and that their introduction is facilitated by a longer suckling period.
Korkaric M., Hanke I., Grossar D., Neuweiler R., Christ B., Wirth J., Hochstrasser M., Dubuis P.-H., Kuster T., Breitenmoser S., Egger B., Perren S., Schürch S., Aldrich A., Jeker L., Poiger T., Daniel O.
Agroscope examined whether it is possible to forgo the use of PPPs with a high risk potential for the environment. The results show that this would make effective crop protection more difficult, especially for field and vegetable crops, but also in organic farming.
Sown wildflower strips improve pest control, and diverse, perennial strips also improve pollination services. Hedgerows in Switzerland yielded good results, while internationally effects were inconsistent. The effects on yield were variable.
A strong immune system is important for health. Foods that are rich in propionic acid, such as Emmental cheese, have a supportive effect, and are a possible alternative to compounds with synthetically produced propionic acid.
Microbial activity in the soil is an indicator of soil health. An analysis of data series from the cantonal soil-monitoring networks over a ten-year period confirms textbook knowledge and shows what we need to look out for.