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The situation of retired farmers

Data of the Swiss Health Survey is used to record the financial and social situation of retired farmers in a quantitative and econometric way. It is shown that the income gap between farmers and non-farmers decreases after retirement. Except that old farmers are more often exposed to children than old non-farmers, no significant social differences…
Plant production

Mascher F., Reichmann P., Schori A.

Influence of powdery mildew on triticale

In 2005, a first major epidemic of powdery mildew on triticale occurred in Switzerland. The present study relies on perennial observation from 3 sites of the Swiss variety trial network for the inscription in the national catalogue. Eight recent varieties have been included in the observation scheme in order to test the severity of the…

Hartmann M., Kölliker R., Enkerli J., Dubois D., Widmer F., Fliessbach A.

Farming systems influence soil bacteria

Soil microorganisms are known to influence nutrient cycling and transformation processes in soil. They are involved in maintaining soil quality and therefore in production of agricultural products of high quality. These communities may respond in a highly sensitive way to different environmental influences. High biodiversity may represent the ability of a soil to maintain functioning…

Stünzi H.

The soil P extraction with ammonium acetate EDTA (AAE10)

A prerequisite for the application of phosphorous values resulting from soil analysis methods is the comprehension of the chemical processes in the soil extraction. These processes were examined for the ammonium acetate EDTA extraction (AAE10-P) and compared with the extractions with CO2-saturated water (CO2-P) and pure water (H2O10-P). The average P-concentrations in the AAE10 extract…

Schaller B., Nemecek Th., Streit B., Zihlmann U., Chervet A., Sturny W. G.

Life cycle assessment of a system under no-tillage and ploughing

No-tillage and conventional plough tillage have been compared on a soil of medium heavy texture in a crop rotation without fallow period at the Inforama Ruetti in Zollikofen (Berne) since 1994. For the crop rotation period from 1999 to 2005 the environmental impact of both systems was calculated via life cycle assessment. With regard to…

Peter S.

Swiss nitrogen-cycle – expected deployment by 2013

The «Nitrogen-Project» has been mandated by the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture and was elaborated at the Institute for Agricultural Economics at ETH Zurich. In the framework of this research project a recursive-dynamic agricultural allocation model has been used to anticipate the development of nitrogen emissions from agriculture on the sectoral level. This article provides…
Animal production

Chassot A., Dufey P.-A.

Finishing of steers following a summering period on mountain pastures: effect of the finishing duration on fatening performance

Subsequent to a summering period of 48 crossbred steers (Limousin x Swiss Fleckvieh) on low input mountain pastures, the effect of a finishing period on fattening performance was investigated. Steers were slaughtered either on the day of returning from the mountain pastures (no finishing) or after 4, 8 and 12 weeks of indoor finishing (loose…
Plant production

Gunst L., Krebs H., Dubois D., Mäder P.

Fungal diseases and yield in organic and conventional wheat production

The different farming systems had no influence on the incidence of disease, except for fungal pathogens on the leaves, which were reduced by fungicide treatment in the conventional systems. The influence of the annual weather conditions was significant. The amount of fertiliser applied and the previous crop in some cases significantly affected the incidence of…
Plant production

Huguenin-Elie O., Stutz C., Lüscher A., Gago R.

Grassland improvement by overseeding

To assess the influence of the seeding method on the success of overseeding, we compared four kinds of seeders – seed broadcaster with roller, seed broadcaster with harrow, drill seeder and seeder with rotary band cultivator – and two seasons (mid-Mai and mid-August) in grasslands of different initial sward composition. At two locations we tested…
Plant production

Lobsiger M., Hofer Ch., Mosimann E., Jeangros B., Lüscher A.

Grassland utilisation in autumn and yield in spring

The consequences of a late closing date in autumn on pasture in spring are mostly unknown. An experiment comparing the effect of three different closing dates in autumn (early October, late October, late November) was therefore carried out over a three-year period on two sites in the Swiss lowlands. The aim was to determine, how…
Plant production

Wellinger R., Buser H.P., Krauss J., Theiler R.

Carrots: cultivation, harvest and storage

During three years (2003 – 2005) carrot varieties Bolero and Maestro (Villmorin) were cultivated to study the influence of cultivation systems and harvest time on yield, carrot size and the incidence of carrot-rots after six months storage at 1°C and 92% RH. In all three years similar tendencies were observed with respect to yield and…

Spirig Ch., Neftel A.

Agricultural amonia emmissions and particulate matter

In the atmosphere, ammonia reacts with nitric and sulphuric acid and produces low volatile salts. These can significantly contribute to particulate mass by either partitioning onto existing particles or building new particles. The acids are mainly produced from precursors arising from traffic, industry and households. In contrast, ammonia originates by about 90 % from agricultural…

Luka H., Uehlinger G., Pfiffner L., Mühlethaler R., Blick Th.

Extented field margins – a new element of ecological compensation in farmed landscapes – deliver positive impacts for Articulata

The sub-project “Effects of newly established extended field margins upon ground beetles and spiders” examined the influence of extended field margins (Säume) upon epigeal arthropods, especially ground beetles and spiders. Surveys were conducted in the Klettgau area in Schaffhausen canton, Switzerland, and in Litzibuch in Aargau canton. In each of the two areas, two extended…
Animal production

Charrière J.-D., Imdorf A., Koenig C., Gallmann S., Kuhn R.

Which influence has sunflower on the development of bee colonies (Apis mellifera)?

In Switzerland, sunflower cultivation extend since the nineties and reaches about 5’000 ha nowadays. The sunflower seeds are not treated with insecticides (imidacloprid, fipronil) but despite that, Swiss beekeepers are complaining about colony losses if the hives are placed close enough to fields of blooming sunflower. We carried out a two years trial, in order…
Agricultural economics

Wüstemann H., Mann S., Uthes S.

Changing values and emerging markets – the case of farm animal leasing

Changing social preferences are a consequence from historical, cultural and societal processes. They led to a cultural movement away from materialistic and towards post-materialistic values which often materialize in public goods or externalities. This leads towards an agriculture whose focus shifts from the supply of food towards satisfying post-materialistic needs. As this needs have specific…
Plant production

Bauermeister R., Koller T., Contesse M., Krauss J., Theiler R.

Stimulators for the natural defence of plants – a topic in vegetable gardening

Recently the increased use of stimulators by Swiss vegetable growers could be observed. Many of these substances/products are applied alone or in combination with other plant protection products, yet with varying success. The use of stimulators on farms appears in most cases without any control, which does not allow a scientific evaluation. According to Swiss…

Collomb M., Bütikofer U., Mauer J., Sieber R.

Fatty acids composition of ewe`s milk at different altitudes

The fatty acid composition was determined in ewe’s milk (pasture feeding), originating from plain, subalpine and alpine areas. Significant differences were encountered in the milk of the three origins. Compared to cow milk, the fatty acids which differed significantly depending on the altitude were often different, probably because of the different fodder specific for sheep…