Nutrient losses in agricultural production are a global problem. A lysimeter test now shows that soil organisms can make a major contribution to increasing nutrient use efficiency in arable farming and reducing nutrient losses.
Agroscope researchers tested the FAO method for assessing the agroecological status of farms in Switzerland for the first time, demonstrating the advantages of a holistic evaluation as well as the limits of the tool.
Which stakeholders in the dairy sector have an influence on the productive life of dairy cows? Research results from FiBL and Agroscope suggest that broad-based cooperation is needed to create structures for a longer productive life.
Policies to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are more effective and more efficient if they are set at the regional level and not at the level of individual farms. This can help achieve climate targets.
The root knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita causes damage in field and greenhouse crops. Agroscope researchers have developed a new screening test to identify bacteria that antagonise this agricultural pest.
In wheat crops, pesticides can be used more sparingly without sacrificing cost-efficiency. With oilseed rape the situation is more difficult, since the reduced yields are not offset by higher revenues. These are the findings of the analysis of the first two harvest years of the PestiRed project.
Tannin-containing feedstuffs like Acacia mearnsii and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) have a measurable impact in reducing methane emissions from dairy cows. However, since these feedstuffs in some cases lead to productivity losses, careful consideration must be given to their use.
With CULTAN fertilisation, nitrogen is injected into the soil as an ammonium solution. Multi-year trials conducted by Agroscope show that this method reduces nitrogen leaching by an average 38% without negatively affecting yields.
Global food availability is expected to remain stable in the medium term. Food security challenges in Switzerland include the decline in agricultural land area per capita, higher incidence of extreme weather events and increased pressure from pests.
Soya-, cereal-, seed- or nut-based plant drinks are consumed increasingly frequently as milk substitutes. Agroscope researchers have studied the macro- and micronutrients in these drinks and have identified major differences between the plant drinks themselves as well as in comparison with milk.
Different cultural backgrounds lead to different uptake of biodiversity agri-environmental schemes at the inner-Swiss French-German language border. Economic policy incentives could mitigate culture-driven behavioral differences.
Cheese varieties from Switzerland are characterised according to various criteria. Agroscope analysed the free volatile carboxylic acids in ten cheese varieties and demonstrated that the latter are suitable for characterisation and differentiation.
Symbiotic nitrogen fixation by bacteria in the soil coexisting with legumes leads to reduced fertiliser requirement. It is not easy to measure this variable on farms, however. Now researchers from Agroscope have developed a method for estimating nitrogen input via symbiotic fixation at farm level.
The agricultural sector as an aggregate proved resilient to the COVID-19 shock. But how did it impact agribusiness firms within the sector? Using the Swiss case, we provide the first set of evidence on how agri-food importing firms survived the pandemic economically.
Safeguarding the clonal diversity of Muscats in the Valais has enabled the characterisation of 42 Muscat à petits grains and 36 Moscato Giallo clones. The characteristics of the two are quite distinct, particularly their aromatic potential. The best clones will be included in the Swiss certification scheme.
Tuta absoluta is one of the most destructive pests of solanaceous crops. Agroscope has developed a statistical model to study the population dynamics of the pest and its parasitoids and allows interventions to be optimally planned.
Swiss vineyards are often small and arranged in a mosaic of separate plots and management practices. Therefore, it can be assumed that spray drift from conventional to organic vineyards occurs regularly. Nevertheless, no pesticide residues are detected in most organic wines.
Agricultural economics research uses a multitude of methods and approaches to assess existing and new policy measures. This is the basis for agricultural policy that demonstrably makes a difference, i.e. is evidence-based.
Red clover is one of the most important legumes in European forage production. In a multi-year field trial, researchers tested Europe’s largest collection of different red clover accessions at five European locations.
Grapevine nitrogen nutrition is a key parameter for achieving production targets in terms of yield and wine quality. Here we set out the current assessment methods and their interpretation thresholds for sustainable management.
Bread, sauerkraut, cheese, wine, beer, yoghurt, chocolate, coffee, kimchi, tempeh, soy sauce, miso, etc. – all these are fermented foods and are part of our daily diet. What exactly are fermented foods and what role do they play in a healthy and sustainable diet?
Pre-flowering leaf removal is a recent practice in viticulture. As well as reducing fungal disease pressure, it limits yield and improves grape composition. An Agroscope study shows that mechanising pre-flowering leaf removal saves effort but also involves risks.
With increasing global and regional temperatures, even in Switzerland the growing season has lengthened considerably. Using data from the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, Agroscope has traced the development of the growing season since the start of the previous century.
Tomato is a special case among vegetables, as its seeds can only be extracted from the pulp after a fermentation step. In order to optimise this working process, various harvesting frequencies and extraction timepoints were tested at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL.
Even in temperate climate zones, an increase in the ambient temperature and solar radiation can cause heat stress in grazing dairy cows. Agroscope studied the physiological changes in cows caused by increasing heat load.
The phosphate mineral reserves required for fertiliser production could be exhausted on a global scale in just a few decades. This study presents a method for recycling a Swiss industrial by-product into a phosphate fertiliser.