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Animal production

Blättler Th., Durgiai B., Knapp L., Haller T.

Opti-Milk Project: economic efficiency of the full-grazing strategy – results from 2000 to 2010

In the project Opti-Milk (2000–2004), the technical feasibility of the fullgrazing strategy with seasonal calving in spring (low-cost strategy) for dairy farms on the Swiss Plateau was shown. The good economic prospects of the strategy based on budgets and predicted costs during the project could be verified with an analysis of the total costs on…
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Animal production

Blättler Th., Durgiai B., Knapp L., Haller T.

Opti-Milk Project: economic efficiency of the high-output strategy – results from 2000 to 2010

In the project Opti-Milk (2000–2004), the technical feasibility of the highoutput strategy for dairy farms on the Swiss Plateau was shown. The good economic prospects of the strategy based on budgets and predicted costs during the project could be verified with an analysis of the total costs on dairy farms from 1999 to 2011. The…
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Plant production

Maltas A., Machet J.M., Le Roux C., Damay N., Sinaj S.

Evaluation of AzoFert®, a software tool for optimising nitrogen fertilisation of Swiss field crops

The French software tool AzoFert® is based on a complete and predictive dynamic nitrogen balance sheet to establish the nitrogen fertilization recommendation. This software tool uses modelling and measurement of the mineral nitrogen stock at the beginning of the balance in order to precisely adjust the fertilizer recommendation to the soil, climatic and cultural characteristics…
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Plant production

Derron J., Breitenmoser S., Goy G., Grosjean Y., Pellet D.

Rape-stem weevil: effect on yield and action threshold

Rape-stem weevil (Ceutorhynchus napi Gyll.) has proven harmful for oilseed rape in Switzerland since the introduction of this crop during the Second World War. The impact of this pest on yield and the possibility of establishing an action threshold were determined during tests, from 1981 to 2008. Weevils invade oilseed rape crops in winter, once…
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Plant production

Grieder C., Tanner P., Schubiger F.X., Boller B.

Six new Swiss-bred varieties of perennial ryegrass

In 2013, six new tetraploid varieties of early (Arcturus, Algira and Salmo) and late (Allodia, Vidalia and Soraya) perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) from the Agroscope breeding programme were admitted onto the Swiss List of Recommended Varieties for forage plants. The lineage of the three early varieties goes directly back to diploid Swiss ecotype material…
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Plant production

Knapp S., Aebi R., Anders M., Brabant C., Hiltbrunner J.

Influence of variety and environment on quality traits in organic winter wheat

Measures for improving quality are currently being tested in Swiss wheat production. In cultivation, quality can be influenced by choice of site, management, and variety. In order to investigate the effects of variety and the environment, comprehensive quality tests were performed on 12 varieties in the Organic Wheat Trial Network in 2012 and 2013. It…
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Plant production

Luginbühl C., Herzog C., Stettler P., Hiltbrunner J.

Approaches for optimising linseed cultivation in Switzerland

Despite state financial support (oilseed payments) for linseed, linseed is still a fairly insignificant oilseed crop in Switzerland. Over the last few years, however, the area under organic cultivation of this crop has been significantly expanded. With the aim of improving yield stability, in small-plot trials, comparisons of autumn vs. spring sowing and of two…
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Environment

Lichtsteiner S., Oehen B.

Beekeeping and farming – dependence and contradiction

In many countries of the northern hemisphere, populations of honey bees and other pollinating insects have been in decline for some years. The causes of this decline have not yet fully been clarified. There are, however, strong indications that intensive agriculture can impact pollinators negatively. Many agricultural activities affect pollinating insects and thus affect the…
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Food

Kopf Bolanz K., Bisig W., Jungbluth N., Denkel Ch.

Potential of whey as a food constituent in Switzerland

Each year, 1 300 000 tons of whey occur in Switzerland as a by-product of cheesemaking: 24 % is used in the food industry, 31 % is transformed into high-value animal feed and 45 % is fed directly to pigs. Increasing the percentage made into foodstuffs would be desirable but is difficult to realize because…
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Environment

Bystricky M., Alig M., N emecek Th., Gaillard G.

Life-cycle assessment of Swiss agricultural products compared with imports

In light of the growing dynamics of the trade in agricultural products, the environmental competitiveness of Swiss foods vis-à-vis imports is gaining in importance. Agroscope studied the environmental impacts of wheat bread, feed barley, table potatoes, cheese and beef from both Switzerland and major importing countries. Cheese and potatoes from Switzerland were rated as similar…
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Plant production

de Werra P., Bussereau F., Kellenberger I., Dupuis B., Schaerer S., Keiser A.

Potato: the Pectobacterium Empire strikes back

Blackleg disease on potato is caused by several pectinolytic bacterial species and subspecies. Until 2012, most of the blackleg-diseased plants observed in Switzerland were infected with species belonging to the genus Dickeya. During 2013, two other species were found to be responsible for several blackleg infections: Pectobacterium wasabiae and Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. brasiliense. The former…
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Plant production

Suter D., Frick R., Hirschi H., Aebi Ph.

Testing Italian ryegrass: the acid test for 37 varieties

In 2012 to 2014, Agroscope tested 18 diploid and 19 tetraploid varieties of Italian ryegrass at five sites in terms of their suitability for cultivation; four of the diploid and eight of the tetraploid varieties had already been recommended, and were retested. Yield, vigour, juvenile development, competitive ability, persistence, winter-hardiness, resistance to leaf diseases and…
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Plant production

Hebeisen Th., Graff L., Zanetti S., Herzog Ch.

Factors causing variable seed quality in rye and triticale

In seed production of rye kernels frequently do not meet the minimum requirements for germination under laboratory conditions due to mechanical seed deterioration, preharvest sprouting and heavy infection with snow mold. Some triticale lots contain too many foreign cereal grains because triticale often follows wheat in the rotation. Additionally, snow mold infection causes abnormal seedling…
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Other

Obrist R., Moschitz H., Home R.

Reconfiguring the agricultural knowledge system in Switzerland

The Agricultural Knowledge System (AKS) in Europe has been, and often continues to be, characterised by the idea of linear knowledge transfer from science to farmers. Particularly in Switzerland, new structures have arisen as a result of the turnaround in agricultural policy and the introduction at the end of the twentieth century of cross-compliance between…
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Plant production

Frei P., Gindro K.

Ramularia collo-cygni, a new pathogenic fungus of barley

Leaf spot constitutes a threat to barley cultivation, leading to significant quantitative and qualitative yield losses. Although these symptoms can be due to physiological stress, they are primarily caused by infestation with the Ramularia collo-cygni fungus. In the absence of sporulation, these two types of leaf necrosis are practically impossible to tell apart. In order…
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Agricultural economics

Mann S., Erdin D.

Grades or labels? Beef prices and quality

The difference between quality grades and quality labels is that the latter are awarded on the basis of production processes, whilst the former are conferred on the strength of the actual production results. In the course of a de-ideologisation of society, it might be assumed that the price differences between quality grades would grow larger…
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Environment

Rudin S., Schmid O., Knaus F.

Results-oriented approach to biodiversity promotion: acceptance among Swiss mountain farmers

To conserve and enhance biodiversity in agricultural areas, the Swiss Confederation uses two different approaches that support biodiversity enhancement areas (Biodiversitäts-Förderflächen, BFF). The action-oriented approach (Massnahmen-orientierter Ansatz, MOA) compensates farmers for prescribed management measures, whereas the result-oriented approach (Resultat-orientierter Ansatz, ROA) compensates farmers for proven ecological results. This second approach, which in the Swiss Ordinance…
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Plant production

Carrera E., Riot G., Reust W., Dutoit J.-P., Torche J.-M., Dupuis B.

Physiology of the potato varieties and consequences for the grower

The physiology of the potato tuber is characterized by two consecutive periods: the dormancy and the incubation. During the dormancy period, the tuber is under vegetative rest and is unable to sprout. The incubation period begins at sprouting and ends when the first progeny tuber appears on the stolons. The duration of both periods varies…
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Animal production

Arrigo Y., Henneberger S., Wyss U.

Digestibility and degradability of silages from whole-plant pea–cereal mixtures

Requiring few inputs, protein plant–immature cereal mixtures can guarantee forage stocks in times of shortage. In order to test whether and how the principle of additivity predicts nutritional value, we conducted in vivo digestibility tests and in sacco degradability tests (crude protein degradability, CPD) to evaluate silages from two mixtures with different protein-plant (i.e., pea)…
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Animal production

von Niederhäusern R., Schmidlin L., Sotoudeh A., Neuditschko M., Wägeli S.

The role of the Franches-Montagnes on the Swiss horse market

Like many other local breeds of European origin, the Franches-Montagnes (FM) must fight against a fall in population and number of births, as well as a lack of profitability at the production level. As part of preparing a strategy report for preserving the FM breed, Agroscope Swiss National Stud Farm SNSF investigated the market compliance…