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.
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.
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.
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.
Agricultural economics research uses a multitude of methods and approaches to assess existing and new policy measures. This is the basis for agricultural policy that demonstrably makes a difference, i.e. is evidence-based.
Agroscope studied the changes in the agricultural sector over the past twenty years in three Swiss regions and compared them with the visions of three associations: Avenir Suisse, the Schweizer Bauernverband and Landwirtschaft mit Zukunft.
Do farmers who produce in environmentally friendly ways earn less income? As an Agroscope study shows, this needs not be the case, and farmers can actually generate more revenue by protecting the environment.
Oats, triticale, hull-less barley, lupin, faba beans and buckwheat are rarely cultivated. The EU project CROPDIVA intends to change that. Agroscope analyses the value chains of four of these crops in order to promote their cultivation and processing.
A hoeing and spot-spraying device enables huge savings in the use of plant protection products. Although costs are higher than for conventional plant protection devices, motivated farm managers give this innovative technology genuine prospects for the future.
Thanks to their unique landscapes, the 15 regional nature parks, the majority of which are located in the (pre-)Alps and in the Jura Arc, feature as tourist attractions. But do the parks also provide economic value-added for local agriculture?
To balance their nutrient cycles, Swiss farms export surplus farmyard manure to farms with free uptake capacities or to composting and anaerobic digestion facilities. Between 2015 and 2020 the volumes of organic manure and recycled fertilisers transported rose significantly, with a consequent increase in transport costs.
Employment in the agricultural sector is declining in many European countries, especially in livestock farming. Direct payments can counter this trend and lead to the employment of more – especially female – family members on the farm.
Despite the current challenges of e.g. the war in Ukraine and climate change, the Swiss food sector is relatively resilient. This is the conclusion reached by Agroscope’s report on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for National Economic Supply.
The pandemic has influenced not only our everyday life but also our behaviour. Agroscope looked at which population groups and behaviours experienced or underwent particularly significant changes, and what this means for our health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Agroscope conducts an annual analysis of the risks to food supply on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for Economic Supply FONES. In 2021, a power shortage, seed imports and climate change were addressed as particular risks.
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
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.
The number of farms with a minimum area of 30 ha is growing, and specialisation – particularly in animal production – is on the increase. Even so, structural change is proceeding at a slower pace in Switzerland than in neighbouring countries.