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Environment

Schneider F., Rist S.

The significance of aesthetics for the adoption of no-tillage farming

No-tillage is an effective protective measure against erosion which offers ecological and economic advantages. Although it has spread continually in Switzerland since the mid-1980s and some cantons actively promote its adoption, the share of total agricultural land under no-tillage remains low (4 %). This study on reasons for adoption or rejection of no-tillage shows that…
Animal production

Stranzinger G., Achermann J., Fengtang Y., Burger D.

Chromosome studies and other investigations on equid crossings

Crossings between horses and donkeys are in nature possible and are used as mules or hinnies in agriculture. Other types of crossings are rare and scarcely investigated. Systematic experiments are only allowed with special agreements and are very time consuming and costly and therefore rare. In this report crossings between horse, Przewalski and donkey are…
Environment

Jahrl I., Rudmann C., Pfiffner L., Balmer O.

Motivations for the implementation of ecological compensation areas

Swiss agricultural policy is guided by the goal of improving the ecological services provided by farms through direct payments for ecological compensation areas (ECAs), but evaluation programs have shown that financial incentives alone do not guarantee the implementation of ECAs. We investigated, by means of structured interviews with conventional, integrated production, and organic farmers, which…
Agricultural economics

von Felten S., Fischer M., Lauber S.

Alpine summer farming in Switzerland: surveys on the situation and choice of alpine summer farms

In parallel with agriculture in the lowlands, alpine summer farming is also currently in a state of change. Within the framework of the inter- and transdisciplinary research programme AlpFUTUR, three representative written surveys were carried out in which managers of alpine summer farms as well as of summer-pasturing and non-summer-pasturing home farms were asked for…
Plant production

Sanvido O., Romeis J., Bigler F.

Challenges in the environmental monitoring of genetically modified plants

According to genetic engineering legislation in Switzerland, the cultivation of genetically modified plants (GMPs) must be accompanied by environmental monitoring. This environmental monitoring is intended to identify any negative effects on the environment as early as possible so that necessary remedial measures can be taken. Accordingly, the authorities must be in a position to recognise…
Animal production

Fuhrer J., Calanca P.

Climate change affects welfare of dairy cows

Climate change is leading to higher temperatures across Switzerland, increasing the risk of heat stress in livestock. Analyzing a «Temperature-Humidity Index» at various locations, it could be shown that the risk for dairy cows already grew substantially on a daily average over the past 30 years, whereas the maximum of the index did not change…
Animal production

Burren A., Flury C., Aeschlimann C., Hagger C., Rieder S.

Population structure and genetic diversity of Swiss sheep breeds

The year 2010 was declared by the United Nations as the International year of biodiversity. During that year, the Swiss Sheep Breeding Association made herd book data of its four largest breeds available for genetic diversity analyses. Those were Brown Headed Meat Sheep (OX; n=10 858), Black Brown Mountain Sheep (BNP; n=10 964), Valais Black…
Environment

Chevillat V., Balmer O., Birrer S., Doppler V., Graf R., Jenny M.

Whole-farm advisory increases quality and quantity of ecological compensation areas

The areas of ecological compensation (AEC) required for farms receiving subventions have so far delivered modest results against the loss of biodiversity in cultivated landscape of Switzerland. Insufficient ecological quality and inadequate locations of these areas are to blame. The results of our study show that whole-farmadvisory can efficiently improve the situation even on intensive…
Environment

Eggenschwiler L., Senn M., Ferrari A., Egli A., Jacot K.

Attractiveness of extensive meadows for aphid predators

Of all ecological compensation areas in Switzerland, extensive meadows occupy the largest surface area. The aim of this study was to investigate the attractiveness of extensive meadows for flying cereal-aphid predators, specifically in the immediate vicinity of cereal plants. On four sites in the Swiss Midlands in spring 2010, wheat in pots was in each…
Plant production

Charles R., Collaud J.-F., Levy Häner L., Sinaj S.

Varieties, seeding rate and nitrogen fertilization on winter barley

In order to take stock of winter barley cultivation and especially the differences between six and two-row genotypes, field trials were implemented between 2005 and 2007 at the locations Changins and Goumoëns. Six and two-row varieties differed in yield level, yield formation and quality factors. Seeding rates between 150 and 300 seeds / m² were…
Plant production

Hebeisen Th., Ballmer Th., Wüthrich R., Dupuis B.

Reaction of newly registered potato varieties to different nitrogen supplies

In 2008 and 2009, in field trials at the Changins-Nyon (Vaud canton) and Zurich-Reckenholz sites, respectively, the two research stations of Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil ACW and Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART investigated the varietyspecific nitrogen (N) requirement of the potato varieties Gourmandine, Jelly, Laura and Lady Jo (the latter at Changins only). The N levels varied from 0…