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Plant production

Bravin E., Hanhart J., Carint D., Dietiker D.

Support Obst Arbo: results for the professional arboriculture

In 1947 today’s date Agroscope started the collection of on farm data to draft extension information and indices for grower prices. Agridea and Agroscope lead the project Support Obst Arbo (SOA), which gives detailed basics for growers, extension and research. 20–25 references fruit farms deliver their data to the project to evaluate the on farm…
Plant production

Keller M., Total R., Krauss J., Neuweiler R.

Reduction of yellow nutsedge infestation levels in highly infested fields: Continuous maize cropping as potential control strategy

Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.) is among the most dreaded weeds worldwide. In Switzerland, it has increasingly become a problem for vegetable growers and arable farmers. This weed propagates and disperses via vegetative tubers in the soil. Producers are facing an important challenge: They have not only to stop the weed’s further dispersal but also…
Plant production

Forrer H.R., Musa T., Schwab F., Jenny E., Bucheli T.D, Wettstein F.E., Cao K., Vogelgsang S.

Control of Fusarium fungi and mycotoxins in wheat with rhubarb, alder buckthorn and tannins

During the past few years, the importance of Fusarium fungi and their toxins in wheat has increased significantly. This study demonstrated that fusaria can be controlled organically with medicinal plants: Suspensions of Galla chinensis and tannic acid inhibited spore germination and mycelial growth of Fusarium graminearum in vitro by 75 to 100 %. In climate…

Bretscher D., Leuthold-Stärfl S., Felder D., Fuhrer J.

Development of greenhouse gas emissions in the Swiss agriculture and food sector

The agriculture and food sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Emission inventories serve as a basis for reduction strategies and the respective impact assessments. To date however, efforts at assessment have frequently been characterized by limited sector perspectives. Adopting an integral approach, the present study reviews emissions from the Swiss agriculture and…

Effect of preservatives in moist hay

Field-dried hay must be sufficiently dry at harvest for problem-free storage. Alternatively, preservatives that prevent heating and spoilage may be added to the hay. In a trial, the efficacy of various microorganisms (lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and enzymes) as well as of a product containing various acids was tested in moist hay with a DM…
Plant production

Schweizer S., Neumann L., Braun P., Kuttnig S., Baumgartner D., Widmer A.

Forecasting crop load in apple trees

Crop-load management is a vital cultural measure in apple-growing. Only when the number of fruits per tree corresponds to target crop-load levels do yield and quality match over the years. Crop load is influenced by various factors, and is deliberately reduced through thinning measures. The necessary intensity of thinning, however, is difficult to gauge, since…
Plant production

Kellerhals M., Schütz S., Baumgartner I.O., Schaad J., Kost T., Broggini G., Patocchi A.

Breeding fire blight resistant apple varieties

215 apple selections and cultivars were screened in a glasshouse shoot infection test for their susceptibility to fire blight in the frame of projects that were financed by the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture. Selected varieties were also examined for their flower susceptibility towards fire blight in an open air protected orchard. Moreover, a fire…

Graf R., Korner P., Birrer S.

Sprinkler systems as a cause of intensification of grassland use in the Swiss Engadin

During a long-term monitoring from 1987 to 2010, changes in vegetation and land-use intensity at irrigated versus non-irrigated study sites were investigated in the Swiss Engadin. Specifically, vegetation surveys were compared between the years 1987/88 and 2009/10 to identify whether and how proportions of extensively used (no-input) hay meadows to low-intensity meadows changed (including a…

Maurer C., Rüdy M., Chervet A., Sturny W.G., Flisch R., Oehl F.

Diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in field crops using no-till and conventional tillage practices

Since 1994, a comparison of no-till and conventional tillage systems has been underway on the Oberacker long-term field trial site at the Inforama Rütti education and extension centre in Zollikofen, Berne canton. The present paper investigates the influence of the two cropping systems and various field crops, including catch crop mixtures, on the diversity of…

Heinzelmann R., Lüscher G., Walter T.

Butterfly and moth diversity in lower-mountain region grassland habitats

Around one third of the 226 butterfly and moth species in Switzerland are threatened owing to the loss of suitable habitats caused by agricultural intensification. Organic farming aims to contribute to the conservation of species diversity in farmland. This case study investigates the impact of organic farming on butterfly species richness and abundance. The study…
Plant production

Walter A., Grieder Ch., Last L., Keller B., Hund A., Studer B.

The Swiss plant breeding sector – a spatial, temporal and thematic analysis

The spectrum of crop species grown within Switzerland as well as their agricultural performance is changing over time. Traditionally, cereal, horticultural and forage production play a major role in Swiss agriculture, and it is crucial to maintain the productivity of these crops under future socio-economic and environmental conditions. However, to focus on only these economically…
Plant production

Frick R., Mosimann E., Aebi P., Suter D., Hirschi H.U.

Alfalfa variety trials (2011-2013)

From 2011 through 2013, 36 varieties of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) were examined in comparative variety trials at five experimental sites. All varieties were grown in pure stands and in mixture with gramineous plants. The parameters assessed were dry matter yield, juvenile development, regrowth speed, general impression, stem thickness, competitive ability, persistence, digestibility of organic…
Agricultural economics

Hoop D., Schwarz A., Lips M.

Full-Cost calculations for contract work

Based on eight farms and 30 observations of farm enterprises, the revenues for seven categories of contract employment in the outdoor-work sector such as Plant Production, Transport/Logistics and Winter Road Clearance are compared to the full costs in order to determine their cost-efficiency. Except for bale-pressing, labour utilisation (i.e. the resultant hourly wage) significantly exceeding…
Agricultural economics

Götze F., Ferjani A.

Who buys organic foods in Switzerland?

Over the past years, the Swiss market for organic foods has grown considerably. However, little is known about the factors that motivate consumers to purchase organic food products. Within the framework of this analysis, data from Swiss households on the consumption of organic foods were analysed descriptively and econometrically. The evaluation of these household data…
Animal production

Gutzwiller A., Reichenbach M., Hillmann E.

The presence of experienced piglets does not promote the growth of newl weaned piglets

In a feeding trial the hypothesis was tested that the presence of experienced piglets facilitates the adaptation of newly weaned piglets to solid food. The 72 four-week-old piglets in the experimental group were mixed at weaning with 12 piglets which had been weaned one week earlier, whereas their 72 siblings in the control group were…