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Flury Ch.

Agricultural ecology and animal welfare 1994 to 2005

Evaluation of the ecological measures and animal welfare programmes shows that there has been an increase in the positive environmental effects of agriculture and a reduction in negative externalities since the programmes were introduced in 1993. The proof of ecological performance and the ecological measures have contributed to a measurable reduction in pollution and the…
Plant production

Hebeisen Th., Ballmer Th., Reust W., Bertossa M.

New early potato varieties for fresh consumption

From 2000 to 2002 a selection of early to mid-early potato varieties for fresh consumption have been assessed within the main trials (7 locations) throughout Switzerland. The experiments were conducted by Agroscope FAL Reckenholz and RAC Changins, the two Swiss Federal Agricultural Research Stations, within the framework of the swisspatat working group for new potato…
Agricultural economics

Schmid C., Tschumi B.

Areas characterized by difficult conditions – compatible with the EU?

European Union as well as Switzerland consider in their agricultural policies demanding conditions of life and production by defining the areas characterized by difficult conditions of farming and by implementing adequate measures. The existing perimeter of the complication areas in the European Union and Switzerland differ according to demarcation criteria, methodology and scale level.This article…
Animal production

Schori F., Fragnière C., Schaeren W., Stoll W.

Linseed and sunflower seed in dairy cow feeding

Three groups of 11 dairy cows each received the same ration composed of hay ad libitum, fodder beet and concentrate. During the experimental period 500 g fat contained in either sunflower seed, untreated and extruded linseed were distributed. Forage- and total intake were not influenced by the different oilseeds. No significant differences were detected by…
Animal production

Morel I., Wyss U., Collomb M., Bütikofer U.

Influence of the botanical composition of grass or hay on milk composition

Two trials, each including 15 dairy cows divided into three variants, were conducted with the purpose to assess the effect of botanical composition of grass (first trial) and hay (second trial) on the chemical composition of milk, especially on the fatty acid profile of milk fat. The comparison included (A) a grass mixture (ray-grass, meadow…

Preservation of moist hay with NaC1

In Switzerland, chemical additives are authorized for the preservation of moist hay. However, they are not allowed to be used on all farms (e.g. not on organic farms and milk producers for certain AOC cheeses). Therefore, the efficacy of NaCl was investigated with hay on 73,4 and 78,2 % dry matter content in laboratory scale…

van der Veer S., Meyer M., Chervet A., Sturny W.G., Weisskopf P.

Physical impacts on soil structure during sugar beet harvest

In Switzerland sugar beet are harvested primarily by two-row hauled or six-row self propelled vehicles. Time and again the multiple passes in the same wheel track caused by the hauled vehicles, the more than 10 tonnes wheel loads of the self-propelled harvesters and the generally unfavourable conditions with wet soils during the harvest campaign in…

Dietschi S., Gehrig Schmidt S., Schwank O., Killer V., Holderegger R.

Quality of mountain meadow types

Plant species richness, plant assemblages, red list plants and the fulfilment of quality requirements with respect to ecological quality payment system (ÖQV) were investigated for different mountain meadow types in the Swiss Alps. The overall quality of extensively managed meadows was slightly but not significantly higher than that of low-intensive meadows. Only intensively managed meadows…

Maurer-Troxler C., Chervet A., Ramseier L., Sturny W.G., Oberholzer H.R.

Soil biology after ten years of no- and conventional tillage

Over the last ten years, conventional plow tillage has been compared to no-tillage in the long-term field trial “Oberacker” at the Inforama Ruetti in Zollikofen. Earthworm populations, microbial biomass and soil respiration have been monitored since 1998-99. The average earthworm biomass is 94 g/m2 on conventionally tilled plots and 190 g/m2 on no-tilled plots. Deep-burrowers,…

Herzog F., Richner W, Walter Th.

Moderately positive effects of ecological measures

Farmers provide the proof of ecological performance (PEP) for 97 % of the utilised agricultural area of Switzerland. Ecological measures and PEP have significantly reduced the environmental damage caused by agriculture. The pollution of water and air with nitrate, phosphorous and ammoniac has decreased and ecological compensation areas contribute to stabilising the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes.…
Plant production

Eggenschwiler L., Jacot K.

Flora and seed bank during and after set-aside

Wildflower strips are sown with species-rich wildflower seed mixtures and stay at the same place between two and six years. After this period wildflower strips are tilled and reintegrated in the crop rotation. In a five-year field experiment in Hüttwilen (canton of Thurgau) we examined flora and seed bank in the soil during and after…
Plant production

Gantner S., Egger S., Szalatnay D., Kellerhals M.

Inventory and description of fruit genetic resources n Switzerland

Switzerland is especially rich in fruit genetic resources. In the course of the national plan of action (NAP) of the Federal Office of Agriculture (BLW) an inventory of the fruit diversity was untedertaken from 2000 to march 2005 by the association Fructus in collaboration with Agroscope FAW Wädenswil and private associations. The inventory of still…

Collomb M., Eberhard P., Wechsler D., Sieber R.

Seasonal variation of fatty acids in alpine butter

A previous study has shown the small variation in the concentration of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) in alpine dairy products during the grazing period. The present study complements our knowledge of the influence of grazing period on the concentration of other fatty acids in alpine dairy products. Generally, the concentration of these fatty acids was…

Fröhlich-Wyder M.-T., Eugster-Meier E.

Can Swiss type cheese be produced without a period in the fermentation room?

Laboratory investigations at Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux, Swiss Federal Research Station for Animal Production and Dairy Products ( ALP), had shown that propionibacteria are also able to grow relatively well at low temperatures (14º C). This could be proven not only for the two cultures Prop 01 and Prop 96, but also for many other strains too.…
Agricultural economics

Raaflaub M., Genoni M.

Prices for agricultural means of production in Switzerland an in EU countries

In Switzerland, as well as in the neighbouring EU countries Germany and France, a survey of producers` prices for fertilisers, pesticides, seed and veterinary medicines was made. The assumption often heard in public discussions that prices are higher in Switzerland was generally confirmed and documented with a wide range of data. The survey showed that…
Plant production

Siegrist-Maag S., Suter M., Lüscher A.

Ragwort and grassland-management – a connection?

Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea L.) is an important weed in various countries (Great Britain, New Zealand). In recent years, the species has also gained attention in Switzerland. Our investigation involved a survey to assess the influence of grassland management on the presence of ragwort and to identify important site conditions associated with the species. Botanical relevés…

Calanca P., Fuhrer J., Jasper K., Torriari D., Keller F., Dueri S.

Climate change and agricultural production

The shift in climatic conditions expected for the coming decades could become a major challenge for the Swiss agriculture. Relevant questions in this context concern the extent of the regional climate changes, their impact on agricultural ecosystems and the possibility for agriculture to adapt to the new conditions. Providing an answer to these questions is…

Reidy B., Menzi H.

Farm and manure management in Switzerland

Reliable estimates of ecological impacts of agriculture require a detailed knowledge of farm management and structure. To establish a new Swiss ammonia emission inventory, a representative survey on parameters relevant for ammonia emissions was conducted in 2002. The stratified sample of farms allowed the differentiation between nine different regions and four farm types. The results…

Neftel A., Ammann Ch., Calanca P., Flechard Ch., Fuhrer J., Leifeld J., Jocher M.

Greenhouse gas budgets of grassland systems

The field experiment «Kyoto-Wiese» in Oensingen (CH) shows that the conversion of arable land to intensively managed permanent grassland leads to an increase in the soil C-content of around 1.5 tons per hectare and year, provided that a sufficient amount of N-fertilizer is applied. This sequestration of carbon corresponds roughly to the yearly emission from…