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Knoth R., Bosshard A., Junge X.

Farmers' and experts' attitudes towards the new agricultural policy

The new Swiss Agricultural Policy 2014–2017 (AP 14–17) is designed to better compensate farmers for their production of common goods such as ecosystem services. We investigated the attitudes of Swiss farmers towards this new political measure and towards the trend of the increasing ecological performance of agriculture. In addition, we studied the expectations of farmers…
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Animal production

Oehen B., Spengler-Neff A., Leiber F., Schmid O., Hoffmann F., Früh B.

Instruments for on-farm animal welfare assessments in beef production

Maximum animal welfare is a core concern in organic farming. With a view to improving animal welfare and making further progress in meeting animal welfare requirements, German and British organic farming associations have developed on-farm animal welfare assessment instruments. These instruments can be applied by the farmers themselves and in the context of organic inspections.…
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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…
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Plant production

Kruse S., Seidl I.

Drought in fruit-growing. Survey among farmers in Northeast and Northwest Switzerland

According to current climate scenarios, drought could become a major challenge for agriculture in Switzerland. To better understand the practitioner’s perspective, we surveyed fruit-growers in Northeast and Northwest Switzerland to investigate the previous impact of drought and the countermeasures taken, as well as the information requirements and the willingness to act on the part of…
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Animal production

Müller A., Burren A., Jörg H.

Identifying ideal beef and dairy crossbreeds to optimise slaughter yields

Not every beef and dairy breed cross results in equally high slaughter yields. In Switzerland, however, no recommendations on the ideal pairings of beef and dairy breeds are available. This study aims to demonstrate which crossbreeds produce the best returns in terms of carcass weight, conformation and fat cover. The data set consisted of 601…
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Environment

Bosshard A.

The decline of Arrhenatherum meadows in the Swiss lowland and its consequences for biodiversity

A comparison of historic and current vegetation surveys of intensively managed meadows reveals a dramatic decline of species diversity in Swiss lowland grassland. In the 1950s, the most intensively managed meadows were Arrhenatherum meadows. Over 85 % of these achieved the QII standard defining meadows with «high biodiversity value», and more than a third significantly…
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Plant production

Goelles M., Bravin E., Kuske S., Naef A.

Challenges of the residue-free apple production

Crop protection in general and apple crop protection in particular rely on pesticides, but consumers demand a reduction of pesticide use and ideally an elimination of pesticide residues in order to minimize the impact on the environment and the risk for human health. Producers need information and advice to establish sustainable production systems that reduce…
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Plant production

Schöneberg A., Perren S., Naef A.

The search for robust varieties for sustainable fireblight management

Robust apple and pear varieties are an important tool in sustainable fireblight management. Two artificial inoculation methods are used for assessing a pome-fruit cultivar’s susceptibility to fireblight: shoot inoculation and blossom inoculation. Since 2013, Agroscope has for the first time been in a position to conduct artificial blossom inoculation tests on an outdoor trial plot…