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Animal production

Burren A., Reist S., Piccand V., Stürm C., Rieder S., Flury C.

Genetic aspects of the trial animals in the project “Pasture based milk production”

The Swiss College of Agriculture (SCA) in Zollikofen is searching for the ideal cattle type well adapted for a pasture-based milk production scheme. In 2007, the SCA launched a project together with the “KTI” (Swiss Confederation’s innovation promotion agency), the IG Weidemilch (Federation of farmers interested in pasture-based milk production), Swissgenetics (major Swiss AI company)…
Plant production

Jossi W., Zihlmann U., Gunst L., Mäder P., Dubois D.

DOC trial: yields from arable crops treated with halved and commonly used applications of fertiliser, 1992 to 2005

In the DOC trial in Therwil (Canton of Basel, Switzerland), organic and conventional farming systems have been run for 30 years, differing mainly in fertilisation and plant protection. Three systems are being compared – bio-dynamic (D), bio-organic (O) and conventional (K) – as well as two supplementary variants: conventional with mineral fertiliser only (M) and…

Bachmann H.J., Buschmann J., Mayer J., Bürge D., Annen D.

Soil analysis with X-ray fluorescence spectometry

The aim of this study was to characterize a field of Agroscope Reckenholz research station regarding its soil constituents with X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) and other analytical methods. In addition, criteria for homogeneity were to be determined in order to assign homogeneous lots for long-term agricultural experiments. In the first part, a method was developed…

Dux D., Alig M., Herzog D.

Environmental impact of agricultural buildings

Life-cycle assessments (LCAs) are based on numerous databases in the energy, transport, waste disposal, chemicals, agricultural processes and facilities spheres. Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART has expanded the data specifically pertaining to agriculture in the ‘buildings’ sphere. The comparison of four different dairy barns shows that by opting for a multi-building loose-housing system in a…
Plant production

Suter D., Frick R., Hirschi H., Chapuis S.

Varieties of tall fescue and timothy tested

The two research stations Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART and Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil ACW conducted variety trials with tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreber) and timothy (Phleum pratense L.), at six and seven locations respectively, in the years 2006 to 2008. The following traits were systematically assessed: yield, juvenile development, vigour, competitive ability, disease resistance, persistence and digestible organic…
Plant production

Hecker A., Vogelsang S., Wettstein F., Forrer H.R

Infestation of winter wheat – monitorin of harvest samples from growers`field

In 2007 and 2008, Fusarium infestation and the content of deoxynivalenol (DON) in nine winter wheat varieties was investigated in three trials on two no-till farms. The trials formed part of a study on the feasibility of small-plot variety trials under no-till conditions. This paper mainly describes the Fusarium and mycotoxin situation. In Baggwil in…
Plant production

Vogelsang S., Jenny E., Hecker A., Bänziger I., Forrer H.R.

Fusaria and mycotoxins in wheat – monitoring of harvest samples from growers`field

In a 2-year investigation, harvest samples from Swiss growers’ wheat fields were examined for Fusarium species incidence and data on cultivation techniques were collected. In addition, the content of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) was analysed in three quarters of the samples. From a total of 248 samples originating from 16 cantons, three Fusarium species were…

Meyer M.

Rapeseed oil fuel – the crisis-proof home made eco-fuel

End of 2008 the CTI-project �Vegetable Oil Combined Heat and Power Unit� – completed by Agricultural Machinery department of SCA in close cooperation with its governmental funding and private industry partners – could successfully be completed. With the supply of locally produced Renewable Resources Rape Seed Oil and its conversion to power and heat, the…
Plant production

Krebs H., Zanetti S., Jenny E., Zihlmann U., Forrer H.R., Tschachtli R., Nussbaumer A.

Effects in winter wheat

The yield of winter wheat grown using three different farming systems (‘organic’, ‘extensive IP’ and ‘intensive IP’) as well as the quality and health of its grains were compared in a long-term trial on Burgrain Farm in Alberswil (Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland). In the organic farming system, the land was ploughed, fertilized with farmyard manure,…
Plant production

Gabioud S., Baumgartner D., Höhn E., Gasser F., Bozzi Nising A.

Mesurement of aroma development during the ripening of Golden Delicious apples

In the frame of several research projects in apple breeding and conservation technology at the research station Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil ACW, key factors determining apple quality and the effect of different storage conditions on produce characteristics have been investigated. It is known that, besides classical quality parameters, such as firmness, sugar content and acidity, aroma is…
Plant production

Häner R., Schierscher B., Kleijer G., Rometsch S., Holderegger R.

Crop wild relatives conservation

Crop wild relatives (CWR) are defined as those wild species that are more or less closely related to crops and exchange genes with the latter. Therefore, CWR are an important part of the gene pool of crops. They also have a high potential for crop breeding as well as for their potential use as novel…
Agricultural economics

Roque O., Miéville-Ott V.

The market for meat from the Herens breed in the Valais. Prospects for the organisation of the supply chain

Few market studies have been undertaken of Hérens cattle meat and its development potential. Our paper highlights a situation of high demand and insufficient supply. Nearly half the volume produced is used for home consumption by the farmers, or sold through direct sales, whilst our survey shows that consumer demand and willingness to pay are…
Agricultural economics

Nemecek Th., Gaillard G., de Baan L.

EUROCROP: Research strategy for European arable farming

EUROCROP was a concerted action to develop a research strategy for European arable farming. Research institutes and various stakeholders drew up the main research priorities for individual arable crops and for six transversal elements: “farming systems”, “farm economics”, “outlets and markets”, “quality of agricultural products”, “environmental impacts” and “socio-economic issues”. The social relevance and priority…

Hartwich F.

Rural innovation networks: from knowledge to development

When do agricultural producers invest in new harvesting technology, change the rotation of crop and fertilisation, reorient their production or use new marketing channels? Over the last years the use of advanced knowledge and technology in agriculture has become more and more important. Farmers, as well as agro-industry companies that provide agricultural input or buy,…

Phenological annual review for 2008

Although the year 2008 in Switzerland belongs to the 10th to 12th warmest years since the beginning of measurements, the effects on the development of the vegetation were not very striking. An extreme excess of heat was never registered except of the winter months and May. The mild winter simply had an effect on the…
Agricultural economics

Meier B., Giuliani G., Flury C.

Land tranfers and development of farm structures until 2007

Economies of scale can significantly improve the competitiveness of the Swiss agricultural sector. In order to understand the development behind the farm size structure, the underlying sub-processes of land transfers are examined in-depth. Each year, between 4 % and 5 % of the total utilised agricultural area are transferred due to the closing down or…

Lüscher G., Walter T.

Indicators for ecological quality in alpine pastures

Vascular plants are helpful indicators for the ecological quality. In the context of the Ecological Quality Ordinance they are already used in the utilized agricultural area. Recently, criteria to assess the ecological quality of summer pastures have been discussed. ART has identified the vascular plant taxa, which best represent species richness, the occurrence of Red…
Agricultural economics

Reissig L., Ferjani A., Zimmermann A.

Increasing phasing out of organic agriculture – with an upward trend

Since 2004, the number of organic farms has been declining steadily contrary to the positive trend in demand. Between 2005 and 2007, 263 or 4.1 percent of organic farms were lost. An analysis of data from the Federal Office for Agriculture’s Agricultural Policy Information System (AGIS) shows that 2.0 percent of the farms converted from…