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Animal production

Frutschi Mascher V., Altermath J., Notz Ch.

Reduction of antibiotic use and increase in feeding autonomy in milk production

In dairy farming, the use of antibiotics and the feeding with concentrates are challenged by public opinion and by economic considerations. Antibiotics are used to preserve the health of cattle and the quality of milk, however their use is expensive and can result in antibiotic resistances in human and animal pathogens. It is now urgent…
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Plant production

Vuffray Z., Deléglise C., Schori F., Glauser W., Calanca P., Meisser M., Frund D., Stévenin L., Bittar A., Mosimann E.

Typology of pasture production

When planning stocking density on pasture, the preliminary calculation of the surface-area requirement is based on an estimate of the forage production potential. Since the year 2000, grass growth has been measured in various intensively-to-semi-intensively-managed grasslands in the southwest of Switzerland. The dynamism and amplitude over the course of the year of 226 growth curves…
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Plant production

Frick R., Sutter D., Hirschi H.

Meadow foxtail: a new recommended variety for Swiss forage production

From 2014 through 2016, the Agroscope research stations tested three varieties of meadow foxtail in comparative variety trials at six locations. The parameters assessed were forage yield, competitive ability, vigour, juvenile development, resistance to diseases, digestibility, adaptation to higher altitudes and persistence. For each variety, an index value based on measurements and observations of yield…
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Other

Reissig L.

Frequency of burnout in the swiss farming sector

Burnout among farmers is an increasingly frequent topic of discussion in the Swiss agricultural press, although there have been no empirical studies on the phenomenon to date. In 2016, 4000 Swiss Farmers were invited to complete a questionnaire, the aim of which was to investigate the frequency and causes of burnout in the Swiss farming…
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Animal production

Scheurer A., Locher E., Herholz C., Vervuert I.

Effect of complementary feeds on the chewing activity of horses

Originally a grassland animal, horses are adapted to a continuous intake of small amounts of feed. Today, horses are primarily kept in box-housing systems and feed intake duration has gained importance. In this study, four complementary feeds with crude fiber content of 10%, 12%, 14.5% and 18% and differently processed (muesli, structured muesli or pellet)…
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Animal production

Mettler D., Hilfiker D.

”Change management” using the example of sheep summer grazing and the return of the wolf

Designing and supporting change processes in agriculture is a challenge for management, science and advisory services. In regions where large predators were eradicated and, thanks to stricter European protective provisions, make a comeback, livestock owners are faced with major changes. The ”Summer grazing of sheep in the canton of Valais“ project shows how extension and…
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Agricultural economics

Gazzarin Ch., Schmid D.

Profitability of different production orientations in the mountain region

The profitability of mountain agriculture is of particular interest, since the multifunctional services rendered at higher effort are recompensed with a comparatively low income, despite the fact that substantial direct payments are disbursed. Based on reference farms from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (2013–2014), ten farms are categorised and the cost-efficiency of the various types…
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Animal production

Wyss U., Pradervand N.

Influence of storage period on the quality of a maize silage

On farms, sometimes maize is ensiled after harvest and the removal (feed-out) and feeding of the maize silage begun immediately. An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of this approach on fermentation quality, microbiological quality and aerobic stability. For this, six 700-litre containers were filled with maize having an average dry-matter content of 37…
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Environment

Prasuhn V., Möhring A., Bystricky M., Nemecek T., Gaillard G.

Economic and ecological assessment of scenarios for nutrient reduction in water bodies

Four different scenarios for the reduction of diffuse nutrient inputs from agriculture to water bodies in Switzerland were analysed for the period 2010 to 2025 in a multidisciplinary project. The agricultural sector model SWISSland was used to examine the economic and structural effects, and the influence on the direct payments budget and sectoral income, following…
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Environment

Sutter L., Herzog F., Dietemann V., Charrière J.-D., Albrecht M.

Demand, supply and value of insect pollination for the swiss agricultural production

For some field crops, and especially fruits and berries, harvested yield quantity and quality are dependent on pollination by insects. According to global estimates, honeybees and wild bees contribute equally to this ecosystem service, although there are no systematic studies for Switzerland. Now, for the first time, and with the help of data on the…
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Environment

Seitz B., Carrard E., Burgos St., Tatti D., Herzog F., Jäger M., Sereke F.

Increased SOM stocks in a seven-year-old agroforestry system in central Switzerland

Modern agroforestry systems have the potential to combine productive agriculture with increased environmental benefits. Because these systems have only recently been tested by a few farmers in Switzerland, there is hardly any data available on the environmental impacts of modern agroforestry systems. In this study, we examined the changes in soil organic matter (SOM) stocks…
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Plant production

Zellweger H., Feichtinger G., Pérez E., Walter A., Hund A.

Weed control in buckwheat: comparison of five selected herbicides

Buckwheat is an orphan crop in Switzerland which has lately been gaining attention due to its gluten-free flour and the high biological value of its protein. In order to establish the conditions for conventional production of buckwheat, two pre-emergence and three post-emergence herbicides were tested as to their suitability for controlling weeds in this crop.…
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Plant production

Levy L., Courvoisier N., Rechsteiner S., Herrera J., Brabant C., Hund A., Weissflog Th., Dierauer H., Pellet D.

Winter wheat: a review of 15 years of variety research on extensively managed land

For a new variety of wheat to be marketable in Switzerland or abroad, it must go through a series of tests to ensure its superiority to already-cultivated varieties in terms of grain yield, quality, and resistance to disease. In this process, which is termed a «variety testing», the «best of the best» is chosen. That…
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Plant production

Suter D., Hirschi H., Frick R.

Perennial ryegrass: new varieties recommended for Swiss ley farming

From 2014 to 2016, Agroscope carried out variety trials with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). Yield, vigour, juvenile development, competitive ability, persistence, resistance to leaf diseases and bacterial wilt, winter-hardiness, feed digestibility and suitability for cultivation at higher altitudes were all evaluated. For the first time, ploidy was taken into account for the assessment. Six new…
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Food

Flückiger S., Brill F.

Method for improving export opportunities for Swiss foods

The agriculture and food sector is faced with major challenges. The increasing saturation of domestic markets means that the sales potential for Swiss foodstuffs lies outside of the country. Consequently, the Swiss agricultural sector is increasingly reliant on the export-oriented food industry and the support of export promotion. Working together with the Federal Office for…
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Animal production

Pfammatter M., Huwiler S., Kägi F., Kopp Ch., Krüger K., Herholz C.

Performance and stress level in mules during a five days Gotthard trek

In the summer of 2016, three pack mules, each carrying a load weighing 80kg, accompanied a 94.46km trek across the Gotthard Pass with a total altitude difference of 3,364m. The mules’ performances were evaluated by measuring vital recovery parameters such as heart- and respiratory rates and body temperature, and by continuous heartrate monitoring during the…
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Animal production

Dufey P.-A., Silacci P., Dougoud B., Biolley C., Messadene J.

Validation of the standards used for the instrumental measurement of beef tenderness

The tenderness of meat is determined instrumentally by measuring Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF). This measurement is performed according to different standards established outside of Switzerland. The aim of the present study was twofold: firstly, to check whether the perception of Swiss consumers vis-à-vis tenderness matched the WBSF categories commonly used; secondly, to define satisfaction categories…
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Animal production

Dufey P.-A., Dougoud B., Silacci P.

Surveys on the tenderness of Swiss beef: 2009 and 2014

The tenderness of beef in nine different muscles sold as steaks was investigated in two studies (2009 and 2014) by measuring shear force according to Warner-Bratzler (WBSF).The meat in each survey originated from 39 artisanal butcher shops (ABs) or hyper-/supermarkets butcher shop (HSMs) in 14 different Swiss cities. Overall, the 466 steaks examined had average…
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Environment

Chevillat V., Stöckli S., Birrer S., Jenny M., Graf R., Pfiffner L., Zellweger-Fischer J.

Agricultural extension gives rise to greater proportions of biodiversity priority areas of higher quality

The shortage of high-quality Biodiversity Priority Areas (BPAs) is one reason for the ongoing decline in biodiversity in the cultural landscape. Many farm holdings have the potential to increase the quality of their BPAs. One approach to leveraging this potential is whole-farm extension, which takes into account both the ecological and economic parameters of the…
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Environment

Krauss M., Perrochet F., Lori M., Ruser R., Müller T., Zikeli S., Gruber S., Claupein W., Mäder P., Gattinger A.

Reduced tillage in organic farming – climate aspects

The conversion from ploughing to reduced tillage is discussed in the context of increased humus accumulation as an opportunity to mitigate climate change. To date, little attention has been paid to the question whether reduced tillage systems in organic farming result in increased nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Thus, as part of FiBL’s long-term tillage trial…
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Animal production

Wyss U., Girard M., Grosse Brinkhaus A., Dohme-Meier F.

Protein fractions in three legume species

During the forage wilting and ensiling process, a protein degradation takes place that affects the different protein fractions. In addition to the silage conditions, secondary plant ingredients also affect the different protein fractions. In an experiment, the influence of the wilting and ensiling process on the protein fractions of the first and third cuts of…
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Plant production

Schaub L., Breitenmoser St.

Development and validation of a phenological model for the european corn borer

A phenological model for the European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner race with one generation per year was developed and validated by Agroscope. This model replaces the previous time-consuming method for predicting the optimal time for implementing measures to control the corn borer (Derron and Goy 2006). The conventional method consists in predicting the flight…
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Plant production

Brunner S., Vetterli Ch., Krebs H., Hebeisen Th., Romeis J., Winzeler M.

GM potato plants are resistant to late blight

Late blight of potato, caused by the pathogen Phytophthora infestans, is the most significant disease in potato cultivation. Large quantities of fungicides are used to control this disease. New, resistant varieties of potato have heretofore not caught on, owing to deficiencies in agronomic traits or tuber characteristics compared to the established breeds. Agroscope studied genetically…
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Food

Friedli X., Freléchoz A., Gilliotte L., Deneulin P., Piccinali Schwegler P., Girardin O.

Swiss local food products competition: sensory evaluation methodology

Nowadays, consumers want products with genuine value-added. With the impact of a medal on the purchasing decisions of consumers being well established, the Fondation Rurale Interjurassienne has dreamt up an event specifically designed to highlight the various Swiss local and origin-linked food products available to consumers: the Concours Suisse des produits du terroir, or Swiss…
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Environment

Finger R., Böcker Th., Möhring N., Dalhaus T.

Incentive taxes on pesticides: economic analysis, experiences from Europe and the effects of accompanying measures

Incentive taxes on pesticides can contribute towards reducing the risk of negative external effects on the environment and human health in real terms. A meta analysis of the elasticity of demand for pesticides shows that the use of pesticides is price-sensitive. Experiences with existing tax systems in other European countries also show that it is…
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Plant production

Herzog Ch., Anderegg J., Luginbühl C., Stettler P., Hiltbrunner J.

Nitrogen fertilisation of linseed influences seed yield and oil quality

Despite the oilseed production payment, linseed has remained a relatively unimportant oil plant in Switzerland. Nitrogen (N) fertilisation is a core component of linseed cultivation, since linseed is considered to be a fairly undemanding crop, yet one that is susceptible to lodging when over-fertilised with N. With the aim of studying the reaction of recently…
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Plant production

Kägi A., Loeu F., Musa T., Jenny E., Wettstein F. E., Bucheli Th. D., Vogelgsang S.

Fusarium species and mycotoxins in silage maize – results of a five-year monitoring programme

within the context of a five-year silage maize monitoring programme (2010–2014) in the cantons of Aargau and Bern, Agroscope investigated Fusarium infection and mycotoxin contamination of silage maize, as well as the influence of cropping factors including variety, previous crop, tillage, and sowing and harvest dates. Out of 169 harvest samples, 167 showed a mean…
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Plant production

Mascher F., Bertschi C., Fesselet M., Schori A., Schierscher-Viret B., Mayor J.-P.

Aptitude of emmer and einkorn varieties for cultivation

Though suitable for breadmaking, einkorn and emmer wheat are hulled grains that are nowadays largely neglected. These cereals are frugal and robust and characterised by high levels of minerals and other elements beneficial for health in the grain. Cultivation of these cereals is feasible, but in-depth knowledge of their agronomic and technical values is indispensable.…
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Animal production

Wyss U., Latsch A., Nyfeler D.

Influence of different slurry application methods on grass silage quality

When slurry is applied, a great number of bacteria (e. g. clostridial spores) are spread on both the soil and forage. An experiment conducted at Agroscope Tänikon in 2013 and 2014 investigated the influence of three different slurry application techniques (broadcast, band-spread and trailing-shoe) on silage quality. In both years, samples were taken of three…