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Effect of cut number, maturity stage and conservation method on digestibility and mineral content of a grassclover mixture

During three consecutive years, samples of a grass-clover mixture from the first and third cut were collected at two stages of maturity (30 days apart) on the same experimental plot. After cutting, the forage samples were either frozen (-20ºC), artificially dried (forced air at 30ºC, <45% relative humidity), wilted on the field and subsequently barn…

Mühlemann M., Aebischer S.

Food safety and health protection in pratice

Over the course of time, various concepts relating to the hygiene and safety of food have been developed. These concepts apply to various levels of the food chain and have partially overlapping concerns. Recently, these systems relating to the safety of food have to be linked to programs of public health. This is carried out…

Stünzi H.

Comparison of soil analyis methods for K, Mg and Ca

For the analysis of potassium (K), magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) in soils different methods are used in Switzerland: Extraction with pure water (H2O10), with CO2 saturated water (CO2), with ammonium acetate and EDTA (AAE10) or with calcium chloride (CC). During the extraction, water-soluble compounds are dissolved, lime is decomposed by acids, cations are liberated…

Sturny W. G., Chervet A., Maurer-Troxler C., Ramseier L., Müller M., Schafflützel R., Richner W., Streit B., Weisskopf P., Zihlmann U.

Comparison of no-tillage and conventional plough tillage – a synthesis

No-tillage and conventional plough tillage have been compared in a crop rotation without fallow period and application of mineral fertilizer only, in the long-term field trial “Oberacker” at the Inforama Ruetti in Zollikofen (Berne) since 1994. The slightly humic sandy loam is a deep and nutrient-rich soil. The results obtained so far show continuous no-tillage…
Agricultural economics

Lips M., Eggimann H.

Do organic farms earn higher work incomes?

To analyse the influence of organic farming on work income per standard working day, multiple regressions are carried out for five different farm types with livestock production. The work incomes of organic farms of the «dairying”, «other cattle» and «combined pigs/poultry» types are approx. CHF 6 (5 to 7%) higher per day than those of…
Agricultural economics

Möhring A., Läpple D.

Investments of individual farms and farming collectives

Farms can only maintain and improve their competitiveness long-term through investment. This paper attempts to determine whether the investment behaviour of farms changes when whole farms or certain production branches merge. To this end, data on individual farms from the investment support measures of the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) and the cantonal credit…

Patrian B., Bächli A., Müller M.D.

Market control measures of isoproturon herbicides

Plant Protection Products are biologically active and potentially toxic preparations, which are regulated under a series of laws and ordinances in Switzerland. In order to protect man and environment against harmful effects of pesticides, market control measures are in force to support the regulations. Whereas several Federal Government authorities are responsible for registration, the market…
Plant production

Charles R., Gaume A., von Richthofen J.-S.

Evaluation of grain legumes cultivation by farmers

Within the framework of a European project called GL-Pro (European extension network for the development of grain legume production in the EU), 111 farmers in Switzerland, above all in Canton Fribourg, answered a questionnaire. The main objective is to identify the prospects and problems in grain legume (GL) cultivation in different areas in Europe. Despite…
Plant production

Suter D., Briner H., Mosimann E., Demenga M., Jeangros B.

Official testing of xFestulolium braunii varieties

From 2004 until 2006 the value of cultivation and use of five varieties of ´Festulolium braunii (K. Richter) A. Camus was tested by the federal research stations Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART and Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil ACW at six experimental sites. An index value based on scores and measurements of yield, juvenile development, general impression, competitive ability, resistance…

Daniel O., Gandolfi M., Aldrich A., Baumann H., Büchi R.

Ecotoxicological risk management of plant protection products

For certain plant protection products (PPP) there are environmental risks depending on application, local situation and technology used. If the risk is not acceptable for all organisms, i.e. if areas of concern exist, standard phrases to address special risks have to be defined when a PPP is authorized. Standard phrases to address special risks should…

Daniel O., Gandolfi M., Aldrich A., Baumann H., Büchi R.

Ecotoxicological risk analysis of plant protection products

Environmental risks have to be assessed before a plant protection product (PPP) is used. The ecotoxicity of the PPP for different organisms (birds, mammals, fish, aquatic invertebrates and plants, arthropods including bees, earthworms and micro-organisms), is compared with the expected exposure of organisms to the PPP through water, soil, air or food. For unproblematic substances…
Agricultural economics

Baur P., Müller P., Herzog F.

Lande-use of alpine pastures is changing

Alpine pastures are a distinctive feature of the cultural landscape of Switzerland. Available data indicate that land-use of Alpine pastures decreased during the 20th century. This becomes most evident looking at the spontaneous forest re-growth on marginal land in the Swiss mountains. The decrease in the number of livestock grazing on Alpine pastures has been…
Plant production

Suter D., Briner H.U., Mosimann E., Demenga M., Jeangros B.

Thirteen varieties of smooth-stalked meadow grass on the test rig

From spring 2004 until autumn 2006, the value for cultivation and use of thirteen varieties of smooth-stalked meadow grass (Poa pratensis L.) was tested by the federal research stations Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART and Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil ACW at seven experimental sites. The traits yield, juvenile development, general impression, competitive ability, resistance against diseases, winter hardiness, digestible…

Rossier R., Felber P.

Quality of life after farm transfer: on the socio-économic situation of retired farm women and farmers

The aim of this study is to determine the quality of life of farmers after farm transfer. The conditions of the farm transfer have a major impact on financial provision for old age. Without right of abode, financial bottlenecks can occur in retirement, since the old-age/survivors’ pension cannot cover the current costs of living. Hard…

Lötscher M., Lehmann Friedli T., Cerutti F., Gantner U.

Customer satisfaction with agricultural research

Close customer relationships and customer satisfaction are important aspects of attaining the efficiency targets of the research stations. In order to be able to meet these targets even better, the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture carried out a written consultation in 2006. A total of 1712 farmers gave their opinion of the comprehensibility of information…
Agricultural economics

Ferjani A., Mann S.

Effects of the abolition of export contributions on the apple juice concentrate market

This paper examines the effects of the abolition of export contributions for apple juice concentrate (AJC), scheduled for 2010, on the Swiss apple sector. A dynamic partial equilibrium model (SAPEM) was developed for this purpose. After the projection of the development of the markets for apples and derivative products until 2013 (reference scenario with export…

Jacot K., Beerli C., Eggenschwiler L.

Improved field margins and the effects on voles and moles

In the regions where agriculture covers most of the landscape, species rich field margins have an important role in the preservation of biodiversity, plants and fauna. Considering this, the Swiss Confederation plans to introduce «field margins» as new type of ecological compensation area. It is a perennial and linear structure sown with a mixture of…
Plant production

Eggenschwiler L., Richner N., Schaffner D., Jacot K.

Endangered arable flora: how to conserve and promote it?

The arable flora is one of the most endangered plant groups in Switzerland. To conserve and promote the arable flora conservation headlands were introduced as ecological compensation areas. To evaluate their effect on the arable flora 28 conservation headlands were studied. There were more plant species and more red-list plant species in the conservation headlands…