To ensure a good harvest while protecting the environment, a nitrogen surplus must be avoided. Agroscope is investigating how the application of nitrogen fertiliser can be better adapted to soil replenishment and the needs of the plants.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are like a “life-insurance policy for plants”. They improve soil structure and make nutrients and water available. This increases the stress tolerance of crops and leads to better yields.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Consumer acceptance plays a key role in the introduction of new grape varieties. An Agridea consumer survey reveals a great openness to fungus-tolerant varieties that lend themselves to particularly environmentally friendly cultivation methods.
BFH-HAFL investigated three non-hardy green-manure mixtures and their effect on organic maize: A legume-rich green manure showed very high nitrogen enrichment and a positive effect on the early juvenile development of maize.
A secured field on Agroscope’s Reckenholz site enables field research with genetically modified (GM) plants. In addition to research results, it provides findings on how GM plants might be handled in agriculture, as well as offering the public a window into this research.
Fungal toxins in wheat endanger the health of humans and animals. Agroscope investigated three cropping systems under reduced tillage to improve the quality and yield of wheat harvests using alternative crop protection strategies.
Fruit and wine producers who receive information from the public sector are more likely to use preventive measures such as nets or hygiene measures to combat spotted-wing drosophila. Producers advised by private firms that sell plant-protection products are more likely to use synthetic insecticides.
Maize is one of the most important crops in Switzerland. Variety selection and site adaptation play a crucial role in maize cultivation in a changing climate. Heat-supply maps created by Agroscope help in the choice of suitable varieties.
Tall fescue is valued as a high-yielding, robust forage grass. For ley farming, fine-leaved, nutritious varieties which are well-liked by livestock are in demand. Agroscope’s most recent variety test has yielded two new top varieties.
Despite its focus on other, higher-priority criteria, the soybean breeding programme in Switzerland has yielded varieties that are tolerant of soybean mosaic virus (SMV) – the most serious of the viral diseases.
Chlorpropham (CIPC), the main sprout suppressant used when storing commercial potatoes, is now prohibited in Switzerland. Agroscope tested alternative substances in order to guarantee the production of indigenous chips and crisps.
Good varieties of smooth-stalked meadowgrass are few in number. The positive results of the variety-testing programme give reason to hope that two new cultivars will soon be added to the range of top varieties.
Digital technologies are fixed features of modern agriculture – but to what extent are they already being used in Switzerland? A survey conducted by Agroscope provides answers to this question. Digital technologies reduce the physical workload of farming and contribute to sustainable field management. They also enable optimised management decisions based on plant- or soil-related…
Digital technologies represent an opportunity for the modern management of farms. For this, already available technologies must also be utilised in practice. An Agroscope survey illustrates the status quo of technology use.
Kaolin was tested in viticulture to control the dreaded pest Drosophila suzukii. The trials showed that this natural product has a comparable efficacy to conventional insecticides without any adverse effect on wine quality.
The risk of nitrate leaching is higher in field vegetable production than in arable crops or grassland. Different species of vegetables have different leaching potentials, which can be reduced through appropriate management.
Sowing oilseed rape with other plants reduces damage caused by adult flea beetle, according to a study conducted at Agroscope. This intercropping approach could limit reliance on insecticides and the emergence of resistant pests.
Adapted, productive grass cultivars are crucial for Swiss forage production. Over the past 30 years, the most important grass species – perennial ryegrass – has been substantially improved by breeding.
From 2016 to 2018 inclusive, Agroscope tested 54 varieties of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) at six locations. Of these, 25 were new varieties and 29 were already-recommended varieties that were being retested. Yield, vigour, juvenile development, resistance to leaf diseases and anthracnose, winter-hardiness and persistence were all evaluated. For the persistent “mattenklee” type, the…
Drosophila suzukii is an invasive species recently introduced in Europe and causing damages to fruit production. Trichopria drosophilae is considered one of the most suitable indigenous parasitoid to be used in biocontrol programs against D. suzukii. To characterize genetic variability and the spatial genetic structure of populations of T. drosophilae, we developed 21 species-specific molecular…
The Swiss Federal Government’s agricultural policy aims inter alia to provide agricultural ecosystem services, reduce environmental impacts, and increase the resilience of the agricultural sector. Combining the cultivation of trees with crops or grass – termed «agroforestry » – can contribute to achieving these goals without substantially limiting agricultural production. We identified the regions where…
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…