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Plant production

Schumpp O., Dupuis B., Bréchon A., Wild W., Frei P., Pellet D., Schaerer S.

High-throughput molecular diagnostics for detecting potato-plant viruses

Every year, Agroscope inspects almost 300 000 tubers for the presence or absence of viruses in order to certify potato plants destined for Swiss producers. From 2016 onwards, this inspection has been performed using real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on dormant tubers right after the harvest. The new method allows results to be obtained…
Plant production

Micheneau M., Champolivier L., Courtois N., Sinaj S., Baux A.

Réglette azote colza®: a decision support tool for rapeseed N management adapted for Switzerland

The Réglette azote colza® is a decision support tool for rapeseed nitrogen fertilization, developed by the French institute Terres Inovia. This tool was designed to determine the nitrogen dose the most adapted to the needs of the crop, based on the rapeseed status at the beginning and at the end of the winter. The parameters…
Plant production

Schirdewahn T., Mascher F., Bucheli Th., Bertossa M., Musa T., Wettstein F.E., Keller B., Vogelgsang S.

Cultivation factors influence Fusarium fungi and mycotoxins in Swiss barley

During a 2-year monitoring we observed that the occurrence of Fusarium graminearum and the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol are influenced by several cropping factors. Frequently, not only one but the combination of different factors have to be considered e.g. previous crop and tillage. Thus, the entire cropping system should be taken into consideration to retrieve influencing cropping…
Plant production

Levy L., Courvoisier N., Herrera J., Brabant C., Pellet D.

Protein potential of winter wheat varieties

A ‘protein potential’ concept has been developed by analogy with the ‘grain yield’ concept, with the aim of better understanding the factors influencing wheat protein content and identifying the most stable varieties as well as the amount of protein that remains to be reached. The protein potential of 18 varieties of winter wheat covering all…
Plant production

Vuffray Z., Deléglise C., Amaudruz M., Jeangros B., Mosimann E., Meisser M.

Phenological development of meadows – 21 years of observations

In spring, the phenological development of meadows influences forage quality, particularly in terms of the digestibility of organic matter. Thus, phenological observations facilitate grassland management during first grass growth. Since vegetation development depends largely on meteorological conditions, long-term phenological monitoring also enables the effects of climate change on vegetation to be assessed. The aim of…
Plant production

Roger A., Pluchon S., Yvin J-C., Benbrahim M., Kremer L., Sinaj S.

Effects of a new phosphate fertiliser on wheat nutrition and yield

Phosphorus (P) is an essential mineral for plant growth. Given that easily extractable global stocks of P are declining and that P over-fertilisation can be a source of pollution, it would appear necessary to improve the efficiency of phosphate fertilisers in agriculture. Two independent experiments were carried out at Agroscope Changins (Switzerland) and RITTMO-Colmar (France)…
Plant production

Suter D., Rainer F., Hirschi H., Aebi Ph.

Timothy: two new varieties recommended

Between 2013 and 2015, Agroscope field-tested a total of 21 varieties of timothy (Phleum pratense) as to their suitability for cultivation. Seven of these varieties had already been recommended and served as benchmarks in the trial, whilst simultaneously being required to pass the test again. Yield and digestibility, vigour (density, luxuriance and evenness of the…
Plant production

Grieder Ch., Tanner P., Schubiger F.-X., Boller B.

Improved performance thanks to sex: Agroscope’s new Kentucky bluegrass varieties

The year 2014 marked the first occasion when two varieties of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) from Agroscope’s breeding programme, Selista and Sepia, were included in the Swiss List of Recommended Varieties for Forage Plants. Instead of exhibiting the otherwise usual asexual seed formation (‘apomixis’), Selista and Sepia primarily reproduce sexually, like the known variety Lato.…
Plant production

Villacrés de Papajewski D., Grisot E., Bétrix C.-A., Schori A., Mascher F.

Creating a test to measure resistance to soybean

Bacterial blight is a foliar disease caused by Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. glycinea. The disease is characterised by angular leaf spots yet with only little impact on the yield. The seeds constitute the primary source of inoculum, and contaminated seeds may affect the diffusion of new varieties. The best approach to preventing the disease is to…
Plant production

Büchi L., Mouly P., Amossé C., Bally C., Wendling M., Charles R.

Non-destructive method for estimating cover-crop biomass

This study presents a non-destructive method for estimating cover-crop biomass, based on field estimation of soil cover and cover height. The estimation of biomass allows to quantify expected services offered by cover crops, such as competition against weed, erosion and leaching reduction, input of nutrients and organic matter. Linear models were adjusted to the data…
Plant production

Ramseier H., Lebrun M., Steinger T.

Use of economic damage thresholds, forecasting systems and warning services in Switzerland

According to Direct Payment regulations, Swiss farmers are obliged to take into account economic damage thresholds and the recommendations of forecasting and warning services before taking phytosanitary measures. In order to assess how well these requirements were being fulfilled in arable farming, farmers and agricultural contractors were anonymously surveyed in 2013-2014. Out of 477 returned…
Plant production

Brabant C., Levy Häner L.

Influence of splitting the application of nitrogenous fertilisers on the baking quality of wheat

Certain types of bread products require a high protein content and well-defined rheological qualities. Although Swiss wheat varieties have a high protein content, said content fluctuates a great deal, and in some years is too low for breadmaking. From 2011 to 2013, a study was carried out on four varieties of wheat and seven nitrogen…
Plant production

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

New varieties of Westerwolds ryegrass and persian clover recommended

From 2013 to 2015, Agroscope tested 33 varieties of Westerwolds ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam. var. westerwoldicum Mansh.) and five varieties of Persian clover (Trifolium resupinatum L.) as to their suitability for cultivation. Yield, vigour, persistence, resistance to leaf diseases, dry-matter content and competitive ability were evaluated. In the case of Westerwolds ryegrass, digestible organicmatter content…
Plant production

Schürch S.

Fusarium infection in maize: evaluating the susceptibility of varieties cultivated in Switzerland

Gibberella and fusarium ear rot of maize reduce grain yield qualitatively and quantitatively. Mycotoxins produced by the fungal pathogens that are responsible of these two diseases are a health threat for the animals fed with contaminated maize. One factor affecting disease severity and mycotoxin content, and therefore a potential management tool, is the susceptibility of…
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…
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…
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…
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…