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Plant production

Dupuis B., Riot G., Ballmer T., Thévoz E., Wüthrich R., Hebeisen T.

Comparison of ethylene and chlorpropham for potato storage

CIPC (or chlorpropham) is the most commonly used product for controlling potato sprouting during storage. A new technique involving storage in an ethylene-enriched atmosphere (the Restrain® process) has been recently implemented in Switzerland. The efficacy of these two methods was compared in Switzerland during three storage seasons over six potato varieties stored in different commercial…
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Plant production

Amosse C., DugonJ., Chassot A., Courtois N., Etter J.-D., Fietier A., Grünig K., Henggartner W., Ramseier H., Rossier N., Sturny W.

Behavior of different cover crops in a network of on-farm trials

A network of experimental fields in northern and western Switzerland was used to better understand the behavior of various cover crops in diversified environmental conditions. Several species were oriented towards soil cover in autumn (e.g. brown mustard). Others produced an important aerial biomass (e.g. sunflower). Some, with intermediate performance during autumn, had a good soil…
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Plant production

Tschuy F., Wirth J.

Current status of herbicide resistance in Switzerland

Herbicide resistance is a worldwide industrial agriculture problem that worsens from year to year. In certain northern European countries, black-grass is resistant to numerous different herbicides, and can scarcely be controlled in certain places. This phenomenon is also starting to emerge in Switzerland. Starting in 2011, and in order to monitor the appearance of new…
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Plant production

Clerc M., Klaiss M., Messmer M., Arncken C., Dierauer H., Hegglin D., Böhler D.

Improving the domestic protein supply with mixed cropping

Mixed cropping of grain legumes with cereals is a promising approach to economic and resourceefficient domestic production of protein plants. Since 2009, FiBL has established field trials in cooperation with organic farmers with a view to jointly developing suitable production methods under Swiss conditions. A range of seeding ratios as well as different combinations of…
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Plant production

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

Tall fescue: Previous varieties uncontested, new ones don't make the grade

From 2012 to 2014, Agroscope conducted comparative trials on 17 varieties of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreber) and two varieties of xFestulolium krasanii at seven experimental sites. All varieties were grown in pure stands and in mixture with clover. The parameters assessed were dry matter yield, juvenile development, regrowth speed, general impression, competitive ability, persistence,…
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Plant production

Bertschinger L., Baur R., Carlen C., Frey J., Jeangros B.

Contributions of Agroscope’s research to

Agroscope’s working programme 2014–17 aims at providing specific solutions for key challenges of Swiss crop production. The competitiveness of crop production and a healthy environment are overarching objectives. The critical context exacerbated by population growth and scarcity of land reserves requires ecological intensification: increasing yields and food quality per invested resource unit while avoiding undesirable…
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Plant production

Meisser M., Deléglise C., Stévenin L., Mosimann E.

Drought events: characterisation and effects on grassland agronomic services

The comparison of drought events requires common criteria reflecting the stress ‘experienced’ by plants. This study evaluates the relevance of different indices for the characterization of the intensity of drought stress. The reflections concerning the indices are based on the results of drought trials (simulations with rain-out shelters) conducted by Agroscope between 2012 and 2014…
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Plant production

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

Hybrid Ryegrass: 26 varieties tested in thefield

From 2012 to 2014, as part of variety testing, Agroscope performed trials with 25 varieties of hybrid ryegrass (Lolium x hybridum Hausskn.) and one variety of xFestulolium braunii akin to hybrid ryegrass at a total of six sites. Among these varieties were twelve previously recommended cultivars, which were to undergo periodical retesting. Dry-matter yield, digestibility,…
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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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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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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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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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Plant production

Levy L., Ellemsi Y., Pellet D.

Effects of variety and environment on wheat viscosity

Wheat viscosity is a qualitative characteristic of cereals. Certain studies indicate positive effects for human health linked to high viscosity, such as the lowering of cholesterol or a reduction in cancer risks. Where the feeding of livestock is concerned, however – especially monogastric animals – low levels of viscosity are desirable. In fact, among other…
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Plant production

Maltas A., Charles R., Pellet D., Dupuis B., Levy L., Baux A., Jeangros B., Sinaj S.

Evaluation of two methods for optimising nitrogen fertilisation of field crops

Two methods are used in Switzerland to optimise the nitrogen fertilisation of field crops: the «corrected norms» method and the Nmin method. Each of the methods suggests a different approach: the «corrected norms» method takes into account field characteristics influencing nitrogen availability, while the Nmin method is based on the measurement of mineral nitrogen present…