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Plant production

Amosse C., DugonJ., Chassot A., Courtois N., Etter J.-D., Fietier A., Grünig K., Henggartner W., Ramseier H., Rossier N., Sturny W.

Behavior of different cover crops in a network of on-farm trials

A network of experimental fields in northern and western Switzerland was used to better understand the behavior of various cover crops in diversified environmental conditions. Several species were oriented towards soil cover in autumn (e.g. brown mustard). Others produced an important aerial biomass (e.g. sunflower). Some, with intermediate performance during autumn, had a good soil…
Plant production

Tschuy F., Wirth J.

Current status of herbicide resistance in Switzerland

Herbicide resistance is a worldwide industrial agriculture problem that worsens from year to year. In certain northern European countries, black-grass is resistant to numerous different herbicides, and can scarcely be controlled in certain places. This phenomenon is also starting to emerge in Switzerland. Starting in 2011, and in order to monitor the appearance of new…
Plant production

Clerc M., Klaiss M., Messmer M., Arncken C., Dierauer H., Hegglin D., Böhler D.

Improving the domestic protein supply with mixed cropping

Mixed cropping of grain legumes with cereals is a promising approach to economic and resourceefficient domestic production of protein plants. Since 2009, FiBL has established field trials in cooperation with organic farmers with a view to jointly developing suitable production methods under Swiss conditions. A range of seeding ratios as well as different combinations of…

Keck M., Schrade S., Keller M., Frei M., Steiner B.

Odour impact of an agricultural biogas facility combined with animal husbandry

Mostly, agricultural biogas facilities on farms in Switzerland exist in combination with animal husbandry. The proximity of these facilities to residential areas can lead to odour complaints from residents. Animal housing and outdoor exercise areas, feed and farmyard manure stores, as well as substrate and fermentation residue stores all figure among the diffuse emission sources.…
Animal production

Leiber F., Probst J.K., Zehner N., Spengler Neff A.

Feeding and rumination behaviour of dairy cows fed by varied feeding regimes

The effects of varying feeding regimes on chewing behaviour and faecal particle size distribution were investigated in an experiment with 23 lactating Swiss Fleckvieh cows. The herd was located at an organic dairy farm with a low concentrate feeding regime as required by the regulations of the organic association Bio Suisse. In a two factorial…
Plant production

Frick R., Aebi P., Suter D., Hirschi H.

Tall fescue: Previous varieties uncontested, new ones don't make the grade

From 2012 to 2014, Agroscope conducted comparative trials on 17 varieties of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreber) and two varieties of xFestulolium krasanii at seven experimental sites. All varieties were grown in pure stands and in mixture with clover. The parameters assessed were dry matter yield, juvenile development, regrowth speed, general impression, competitive ability, persistence,…

Holzkämper A., Fuhrer J.

The impact of climate change on maize cultivation in Switzerland

The premise that global warming changes the conditions for crop production was investigated throughout Switzerland on the basis of a climate suitability for grain maize cultivation. Gridded projections1 of temperature changes for three time periods (2020–49, 2045–74, 2070–99) available from twenty climate-model chains for the A2 emissions scenario (i.e. the «business as usual» scenario) were…
Agricultural economics

Lips A., Hoop D.

Standard labour unit: factors for para-agricultural activities

Factors for calculating standard labour units (SLUs) are derived from cost/ performance calculations for paraagricultural activities found in business- management literature. The SLU factors specify the necessary labour input per CHF 10 000 of volume of sales or turnover, with three activity categories being distinguished. Leisure time and educational activities on the farm are highly…
Plant production

Bertschinger L., Baur R., Carlen C., Frey J., Jeangros B.

Contributions of Agroscope’s research to

Agroscope’s working programme 2014–17 aims at providing specific solutions for key challenges of Swiss crop production. The competitiveness of crop production and a healthy environment are overarching objectives. The critical context exacerbated by population growth and scarcity of land reserves requires ecological intensification: increasing yields and food quality per invested resource unit while avoiding undesirable…
Plant production

Meisser M., Deléglise C., Stévenin L., Mosimann E.

Drought events: characterisation and effects on grassland agronomic services

The comparison of drought events requires common criteria reflecting the stress ‘experienced’ by plants. This study evaluates the relevance of different indices for the characterization of the intensity of drought stress. The reflections concerning the indices are based on the results of drought trials (simulations with rain-out shelters) conducted by Agroscope between 2012 and 2014…
Plant production

Suter D., Frick R., Hirschi H., Aebi P.

Hybrid Ryegrass: 26 varieties tested in thefield

From 2012 to 2014, as part of variety testing, Agroscope performed trials with 25 varieties of hybrid ryegrass (Lolium x hybridum Hausskn.) and one variety of xFestulolium braunii akin to hybrid ryegrass at a total of six sites. Among these varieties were twelve previously recommended cultivars, which were to undergo periodical retesting. Dry-matter yield, digestibility,…