The reduction of environmental risks from plant protection products is to be monitored by the Confederation using a risk indicator. The indicator also takes into account the degree of implementation of risk reduction measures in practice. This degree of implementation was estimated by a study.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are important for healthy soils and crops. A pan-European study shows that plant-protection products adversely affect these fungi, reducing their ability to supply plants with phosphorus via their roots.
Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin are used in mixtures for perennial hay meadows and for tannin-containing fodder. Agroscope is adding two new cultivars of birdsfoot trefoil to the ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’, whilst there is no change in the case of sainfoin.
A comparison of different methods of winter-wheat fertilisation with nitrogen showed that nitrogen surpluses can be significantly reduced by means of site-specific variable-rate nitrogen fertilisation.
Employment in the agricultural sector is declining in many European countries, especially in livestock farming. Direct payments can counter this trend and lead to the employment of more – especially female – family members on the farm.
Although milk-production oriented (MPO) cow breeds have also become established in the mountain region, farms with the dual-purpose ‘Original Simmental’ breed are proving to be economically viable, with lower costs and higher direct payments making up for lower revenues from milk.
Many tile drainage systems on arable land are in need of renewal. Cantons and stakeholders will now be given a decision-making tool enabling them to assess such areas in detail and to find sustainable solutions.
Ammonia emissions from the Swiss farming sector have scarcely declined over the past 20 years. This is because the factors leading to either an increase or decrease in emissions have for the most part cancelled each other out between 2000 and 2020.
High milk yields before drying-off increase the risk of udder infections during the dry period. An online survey highlights what drying-off methods are currently used and how farmers rate the ‘incomplete milking’ approach for reducing milk yield.
Tall oat grass and golden oat grass are typical hay-meadow grasses that are also suitable for forage mixtures. Of the four tall and three golden oat grass varieties tested, only one new variety of tall oat grass is likely to make it onto the List of Recommended Varieties.
Plants and microorganisms can perceive and respond to sound waves. In a review of the literature, Agroscope analysed various publications on this topic. The studies show that sound can lead to positive effects on physiology in the form of improved growth, development and disease resistance.
Agroscope has highlighted for the first time the factors that are key for the targeted, large-scaled promotion of biodiversity in agriculture. Focusing on agriculture as a whole is especially important.
FiBL and Agroscope investigated bread wheat varieties to determine their yield and quality stability. The results show that the choice of variety must be adapted to the site and that high yield potential does not go hand-in-hand with a high protein content.
The war in Ukraine, dry spells and droughts followed by heavy rainfall and flooding are major challenges for our food systems. But the problems that they bring to light are nothing new – and solutions are already to hand.
Adapted and high-yielding varieties of forage plants are important for Switzerland as a grassland country. Hybrid ryegrass is a versatile forage grass that, thanks to breeding advances, has become even more persistent, disease-resistant and high-yielding over the past 30 years.
Biogenic amines in foods represent a health risk. Researchers from Agroscope and INRAE investigated the formation of these undesirable substances in raclette cheeses by the bacterium Morganella morganii.
Agroscope has developed a scoring system for plant protection in vegetable crops. The system enables the creation of incentives for reducing the use and environmental risks of plant-protection products and promoting preventive and non-chemical measures.
At the new Centre of Excellence for Raw-Milk Products, Agroscope and Grangeneuve interviewed test subjects about the popularity of Vacherin Fribourgeois PDO cheeses made from raw and thermised milk. The study showed that the market potential of raw-milk cheeses has not yet been exhausted.
Despite the current challenges of e.g. the war in Ukraine and climate change, the Swiss food sector is relatively resilient. This is the conclusion reached by Agroscope’s report on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for National Economic Supply.
Many consumer goods contain activated carbon, which can be contaminated with pollutants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Agroscope showed that current analytical methods and legal bases used to address PAH content are incomplete.
Dry summers can see a loss of up to 25% of total Swiss roughage production. This is because grassland yields are strongly correlated with summer drought, as shown by a new analysis conducted by Agroscope and the Swiss Farmers’ Union.
Herbicide-resistant weeds are a growing problem throughout the world. Monitoring herbicide resistance in Switzerland allows us to understand the mechanisms behind it and to better manage the use of herbicides.
Agroscope compared crop protection strategies in apple production. Reducing the use of plant-protection products lowered the local ecotoxological risks, but resulted in trade-offs between environmental and economic performance.
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium proteins protect Bt maize from being fed on by specific insects. A new, systematic analysis of international field data confirms that non-target organisms in Bt maize are largely spared.
The pandemic has influenced not only our everyday life but also our behaviour. Agroscope looked at which population groups and behaviours experienced or underwent particularly significant changes, and what this means for our health.
Protecting the climate whilst reaping a good harvest is possible if greater amounts of carbon are sequestered in the soil. Agroscope calculated the amount of additional carbon that the soil is capable of storing.
A long-term field study conducted by Agroscope, the Soil Protection Agency of the Canton of Bern and the University of Bern shows that soil erosion on arable land can be significantly reduced with the right measures – in particular, conservation tillage practices.