The preservation of soil fertility and multiple soil functions faces various challenges both in Switzerland and throughout Europe. A survey carried out in Switzerland among people from practice, government agencies and research highlights problems and possible solutions.
The invasive weed yellow nutsedge creates considerable problems for Swiss producers in arable and vegetable crops. In a four-year project, stakeholders from research and practice evaluated various control strategies on-farm.
Grass-fed milk production meets a customer need, and is linked to specific feed and animal-welfare requirements. An Agroscope study sought to determine the circumstances in which grass-fed milk production is worthwhile.
Fattening pigs suffer when it is hot. Timely provision of cooling measures increases both animal welfare and success in pig fattening. Researchers at Agroscope examined which indicators reliably indicate heat stress in fattening pigs.
Model calculations show how climate change will affect the water requirement for different crops grown on the Swiss Central Plateau. This will allow us to proactively plan for crop irrigation and adaptation to the changing climate.
Wireworms cause significant crop losses in potatoes. This study investigated the efficacy of a fungus in decimating wireworm populations in the winter cover crop. The strategy was partially successful, but must be further optimised for use in practice.
Together with project partners, Agroscope investigated soil carbon sequestration potentials for 24 European countries. Carbon sequestration could offset 0.1% to 27% of greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture per annum.
Excess nitrogen is excreted in the urine and leads to higher ammonia emissions. Nitrogen in the urine of dairy cows can be estimated based on the urea content of their milk. This information can be used to optimise protein feeding.
Bacterial diseases can have a huge impact on potato production yields.
The method for detecting these diseases used in Switzerland to date does not allow the growing demand for tests to be met. Agroscope is implementing new solutions.
Hybrid ryegrass is a high-yielding, versatile forage grass used in many clover-grass mixtures. Out of a total of 23 tested varieties, two new varieties performed particularly impressively in terms of yield and resistance to bacterial wilt.
Calculations carried out by the Swiss Soil Monitoring Network (NABO) over more than 30 years reveal that fertiliser applications and plant-protection products can lead to excess heavy metals in agricultural soils.
What are the possible routes of entry of plant-protection products into surface waters? Agroscope shows the potential input risks in terms of tile drainage, runoff and agricultural point sources for over 20 000 catchment areas.
Agroscope conducts an annual analysis of the risks to food supply on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for Economic Supply FONES. In 2021, a power shortage, seed imports and climate change were addressed as particular risks.
Italian ryegrass is a high-yielding meadow grass that is often used in clover-grass mixtures. Out of a total of 52 varieties tested by Agroscope, two new frontrunners scored top marks for nearly all traits.
Nematodes are important indicators for soil life. An Agroscope study shows that nematode numbers and species diversity are significantly higher in organic vegetable fields than in conventionally farmed fields.
A simple smartphone could soon become an essential ally for beekeepers in their battle to control the varroa mite. A mobile application for identifying and counting these tiny parasites in the hive – the first of its kind in Switzerland – has just been developed.
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) pathogens can be transmitted to humans by the consumption of raw milk and raw-milk products from infected goats. The risk is judged to be low, and is most likely to come from on-farm consumption of the (unpasteurised) products.
FiBL field trials demonstrate that sown wildflowers together with the spontaneous arable weed flora in cabbage fields can promote predatory beneficial insects and pollinators. This makes it possible to enhance the ecological value of production areas.
Swiss aquaculture is enjoying strong growth. However, in order to develop sustainably, the sector needs to be better organised. This study analyses the current situation and proposes a concept for the development of a coordination centre.