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Plant production

Frick R., Suter D., Hirschi H.

Trials with meadow fescue: two new varieties recommended

From 2016 to 2018, Agroscope tested a total of 23 varieties of meadow fescue, including 16 new varieties, in comparative variety trials at six locations. The varieties were assessed on the basis of systematic examinations and observations of forage yield, vigour, juvenile development, competitive ability, persistence, tolerance to winter influences, resistance to leaf diseases, digestibility…
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Animal production

Bracher A.

Oil seed by-products as alternative protein sources for imported protein-rich feed

The protein-rich, solvent-extracted meals and press cakes of oilseeds are among the most important protein sources used in compound feed worldwide. In Switzerland, 85 % of oil seed by-products have to be imported. Rapeseed and sunflowers are the most important indigenous oilseeds. Domestic production is bound to contractually negotiated quantities and has thus limited expansion…
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Agricultural economics

Fry P., Mettler D., Jakob F., Brugger M., Flückiger E.

Social learning: videos put across success factors for marketing regional products

As part of a «by farmers to farmers» project, authentic films have been produced and used in the networks in collaboration with a support group from research, administration and practice. In making these films, the «social learning video» method was applied. The purpose of these films is to motivate farmers to implement new regional marketing…
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Agricultural economics

Mann S., Stoinescu A., Nüssli S.-M., Spycher L.

Communal alpine pastures: between commons and incentive

Communal alpine pastures are a popular subject for the study of collective economic activity, despite the fact that there is very little empirical material available on which to base this study. In order to create a broader empirical foundation, five alpine pastures were visited whose organisation and economic processes were tracked by means of participatory…
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Animal production

Zähner M., Leinweber Th., Schrade S.

Cleaning quality and animal behaviour with the use of a dung-removal robot

The use of dung-removal robots on perforated flooring has not been widespread to date. Moreover, scientifically substantiated recommendations for their operation are lacking. In an experiment involving different cleaning frequencies with the Lely Discovery Mobile Barn Cleaner, floor soiling and the behaviour of the cows on perforated flooring were ascertained. The variant with an optimised…
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Environment

Ritschard E., Zingg S., Arlettaz R., Humbert J-Y.

Biodiversity promotion areas: increasing their proportion and quality benefits birds and butterflies

The intensification of agricultural practices has led to an alarming decline in farmland biodiversity. With the aim of stopping and even reversing this trend, biodiversity promotion areas (BPA – formerly named «ecological compensation areas») were introduced in the 1990s. In this study, the influence of BPA on the biodiversity of butterflies and breeding birds was…
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Plant production

Strahm S., Füglistaller D., Lädrach Ch., Enggist A., Thuet, A., Luginbühl C., Ramseier H., Hiltbrunner J.

Growing buckwheat in Switzerland: new varieties for an old niche crop

Interest in buckwheat production has been growing for several years now in Switzerland. Previously, this field crop had almost completely been forgotten. Since it is not related to other arable crops, buckwheat is ideal for breaking up crop rotations. It is also interesting from a nutritional point of view, as it contains zinc and selenium,…
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Animal production

Kasper C., Ruiz-Ascacibar I., Stoll P., Bee G.

Genetic parameters of protein efficiency in a Swiss Large White pig population

Pork production contributes to environmental pollution through the emission of nitrogen compounds. In addition, pig fattening in Switzerland requires imports of soybean, since the protein requirement of feed cannot be met by domestic plant-protein sources alone. It is therefore desirable to improve protein efficiency, i.e. to achieve a similar protein uptake in the carcass with…
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Animal production

Müller Richli M., Scheeder M.

Good fattening results despite reduced crude protein content in the feed

Feeding strategies to improve the nutritional value of pork and at the same time reduce the environmental burden were examined on three pig farms representing single-feed, two-phase and multi-phase feeding systems. The experimental feed was supplemented with selenium, vitamin E and crushed linseed. Furthermore, the protein content was reduced. Fattening runs with common feed served…
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Food

Müller Richli M., Zurlinden M., Harms E., Giger C., Stratz P., Scheeder M.

How nutritional value and eating quality of pork can be further improved

A feeding experiment was conducted on three pig farms to evaluate the possibility of producing pork with both a specifically improved nutritional value and exceptional eating quality. By supplementing the feed, the concentrations of selenium, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids were increased in the meat and adipose tissue of the pigs as well as…
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Plant production

Baux A., Schumacher P.

The growth of companion cropping in oilseed rape: feedback on the opinions of Swiss producers

The practice of sowing companion crops (or «service plants») in among oilseed rape began to get off the ground in Switzerland several years ago. Certain farmers see companion cropping as an innovative technique allowing them to cut back on the use of plant-protection products, and in particular enabling them to forgo the use of herbicides,…
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Plant production

Aubry S., Eigenmann Ch.

New challenges to digitization of genetic resources for food and agriculture

A comprehensive stewardship of genetic resources is necessary to insure a resilient and sustainable agriculture. Most of our food comes from a handful of domesticated species which diversity is constantly shrinking. On the contrary, modern genomics keep discovering the marvels of diversity contained in genetic resources for food and agriculture. High-throughput sequencing and related techniques…
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Food

Maurer J., Wechsler D., Irmler St., Berger Th.

Avoiding persistent contamination with propionic acid bacteria and Lactobacillus parabuchneri in milking systems

Persistent contaminations with propionic acid bacteria and Lactobacillus parabuchneri in milking systems have repeatedly resulted in financial losses in cheese processing. Moreover, histamine in the cheese, caused by Lactobacillus parabuchneri, can also affect consumer health. Biochemical and molecular biological methods have been developed and introduced into practice to enable the quick and reliable identification of…
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Agricultural economics

Mack G., Heitkämper K., El Benni N.

What factors influence the perception of administrative work?

When it comes to developing recommendations for action for limiting administrative work, knowledge about both the perception of work and the actual work is important. This topic was investigated using the example of the Programme for the Promotion of Grassland-Based Milk and Meat Production (GMMP). A survey of 892 farmers revealed that the perception of…
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Plant production

Sinaj S., Jeangros B.

Preserving the sustainability of field crop systems: overview of 50 years of trials in Changins

Preserving soil fertility is a major challenge for farms without livestock specialised in field crops. Several decades ago, several trials were set up at the Agroscope experimental station in Changins to study the long-term effects of different cultural practices on soil fertility and crop yields. This article summarises the main results obtained in these trials.…
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Environment

Riedel S., Lüscher G., Meier E., Herzog F., Hofer G.

Ecological Quality of Meadows Supported with Biodiversity Contributions

The «Agriculture-Related Environmental Objectives» (AEOs) set binding targets for the conservation of species and habitat diversity in the agricultural landscape. For these, lists of species meriting particular consideration (AEO species) were drawn up. An initial evaluation of the ALL-EMA «Agricultural Species and Habitats» Monitoring Programme shows that in Switzerland, on average only 13 % of…
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Animal production

Münger A., Eggerschwiler L., Silacci P., Dohme-Meier F.

Methane emissions from dairy cows: influence of oilseeds in the feed

The addition of fatty feed components to a dairy cow ration can influence ruminal fermentation, and hence methane formation in the rumen. In a study with 33 Holstein / Red Holstein dairy cows, the influence of two different types of oilseeds (extruded linseed and ground rapeseed) versus a control (rumen-stable fat) was investigated over a…
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Animal production

Spengler Neff A., Baki C., Leiber F.

Milk instead of concentrate feed in claf rearing

To promote efficient grassland utilisation and reduce resource use, it is necessary to minimize the amount of concentrates fed to ruminants. Research findings and practical knowledge are available concerning dairy cow management without concentrates, but there is not much literature on rearing calves without concentrates. Textbooks on animal feeding usually recommend calf rearing with concentrates.…
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Animal production

Rothacher M., Wyss U., Arrigo Y.

In vivo digestibility of maize silages harvested with different techniques

A trial was carried out to determine the organic-matter digestibility and nutritional value of whole-plant maize silages (WPMS’s) harvested in different ways. Four methods were compared: standard WPMS from the tower silo removed with a silo unloader, standard WPMS in bales, WPMS shredlage, and cob-enriched WPMS (power maize). According to the chemical analyses, the nutritional…
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Environment

Ammann C., Voglmeier K., Münger A., Bretscher D.

Reduction of ammonia emissions on pasture

What is the effect of a low-protein feed supplement on the ammonia emissions from dairy cattle on pasture? To answer this question, the ammonia emissions from two pasture-based feeding systems with dairy cattle were measured and compared between May and October. In the first system (G) the cows fed exclusively on pasture grass, whilst in…
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Environment

Mayer J., Zimmermann M., Weggler K., Reiser R., Bürge D., Bucheli Th., Richner W.

Pollutant threshold values for mineral recycling fertilisers: the Swiss concept

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant growth. Switzerland is reliant upon the import of phosphorus fertilisers, which come from deposit reserves and are increasingly burdened with pollutants. On the other hand, there are hitherto unused phosphorus stocks in sewage sludge and slaughterhouse waste that could completely replace fertiliser imports. Therefore, Switzerland has introduced the…