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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…
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…
Plant production

Bravin E., Hanhart J., Carint D., Dietiker D.

Support Obst Arbo: results for the professional arboriculture

In 1947 today’s date Agroscope started the collection of on farm data to draft extension information and indices for grower prices. Agridea and Agroscope lead the project Support Obst Arbo (SOA), which gives detailed basics for growers, extension and research. 20–25 references fruit farms deliver their data to the project to evaluate the on farm…
Plant production

Keller M., Total R., Krauss J., Neuweiler R.

Reduction of yellow nutsedge infestation levels in highly infested fields: Continuous maize cropping as potential control strategy

Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.) is among the most dreaded weeds worldwide. In Switzerland, it has increasingly become a problem for vegetable growers and arable farmers. This weed propagates and disperses via vegetative tubers in the soil. Producers are facing an important challenge: They have not only to stop the weed’s further dispersal but also…
Plant production

Forrer H.R., Musa T., Schwab F., Jenny E., Bucheli T.D, Wettstein F.E., Cao K., Vogelgsang S.

Control of Fusarium fungi and mycotoxins in wheat with rhubarb, alder buckthorn and tannins

During the past few years, the importance of Fusarium fungi and their toxins in wheat has increased significantly. This study demonstrated that fusaria can be controlled organically with medicinal plants: Suspensions of Galla chinensis and tannic acid inhibited spore germination and mycelial growth of Fusarium graminearum in vitro by 75 to 100 %. In climate…
Plant production

Schweizer S., Neumann L., Braun P., Kuttnig S., Baumgartner D., Widmer A.

Forecasting crop load in apple trees

Crop-load management is a vital cultural measure in apple-growing. Only when the number of fruits per tree corresponds to target crop-load levels do yield and quality match over the years. Crop load is influenced by various factors, and is deliberately reduced through thinning measures. The necessary intensity of thinning, however, is difficult to gauge, since…
Plant production

Kellerhals M., Schütz S., Baumgartner I.O., Schaad J., Kost T., Broggini G., Patocchi A.

Breeding fire blight resistant apple varieties

215 apple selections and cultivars were screened in a glasshouse shoot infection test for their susceptibility to fire blight in the frame of projects that were financed by the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture. Selected varieties were also examined for their flower susceptibility towards fire blight in an open air protected orchard. Moreover, a fire…
Plant production

Walter A., Grieder Ch., Last L., Keller B., Hund A., Studer B.

The Swiss plant breeding sector – a spatial, temporal and thematic analysis

The spectrum of crop species grown within Switzerland as well as their agricultural performance is changing over time. Traditionally, cereal, horticultural and forage production play a major role in Swiss agriculture, and it is crucial to maintain the productivity of these crops under future socio-economic and environmental conditions. However, to focus on only these economically…
Plant production

Frick R., Mosimann E., Aebi P., Suter D., Hirschi H.U.

Alfalfa variety trials (2011-2013)

From 2011 through 2013, 36 varieties of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) were examined in comparative variety trials at five experimental sites. All varieties were grown in pure stands and in mixture with gramineous plants. The parameters assessed were dry matter yield, juvenile development, regrowth speed, general impression, stem thickness, competitive ability, persistence, digestibility of organic…
Plant production

Tschuy F., Gfeller A., Azevedo R., Khamissé C., Henriet L., Wirth J.

Weed suppression by cover crops: analyzing different factors

Cover crops represent an increasingly widespread agricultural technique in Switzerland as they provide different ecosystem services. One important role of cover crops is weed control, which can be explained by resource competition (for water, nutrients and light) and allelopathic effects (biochemical interactions between plants). To better understand the phenomenon of weed suppression by cover crops,…
Plant production

Stamp P., Fossati D., Mascher F., Hund A.

The future of wheat breeding

Unlike the situation in the European Union, where wheat breeding is almost exclusively in the hands of the private sector, public breeding of disease-resistant wheat with high baking quality has a long-standing tradition in Switzerland. Important increases in yield potential are still possible here. After World War I, wheat yield in other European countries increased…
Plant production

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

Substantial progress in variety testing with red clover

Agroscope noted significant breeding progress in the variety tests with 30 new cultivars and 24 already recommended varieties of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) conducted at six locations from 2011 to 2013. Yield, vigour, juvenile development, resistance to leaf diseases, winter-hardiness and persistence were all evaluated. For the persistent varieties («Mattenklee» type), results allowing for…
Plant production

Hund A., Fossati D., Mascher F., Stamp P.

Hybrid cereals are progressing

Low return on investment from breeding licenses has made breeding of self-fertilizing species like wheat and barley less attractive. However, for some decades, the variety types have been changing in Europe, because cytoplasmic male sterile systems of outcrossing species like maize, rape seed and rye exist for the production of affordable hybrid seeds, which have…
Plant production

Vogler U., Schmon R., Jänsch M., Heller W.E.

Pests and pathogens in the cabbageoilseed rape agroecosystem

The cabbage – oilseed rape agroecosystem consists of cruciferous crop plants with different levels of productivity and labour intensity. In Switzerland, such crop plants are cultivated mostly in small-scale agricultural settings. Cruciferous crop plants are hosts for a wide range of pest insects and plant pathogens. However, the importance of the damage caused by pests…
Plant production

Aouinait C., Jeangros B., Nassar V., Crole-Rees A.

Innovation mapping in plant production: the case of HOLL rapeseed

The Swiss plant production sector aims at maintaining its competitiveness, even in a liberalized economy. The research program ProfiCrops takes a look into innovations generated for the plant production sector. Innovations are a requisite for maintaining the competitiveness of the agricultural sector. A tool allowing to map innovations in the plant production sector has been…
Plant production

Rouffiange J., Gerardin D., Riot G., Thévoz E., Kellenberger I., Schaerer S., Dupuis B.

Potato susceptibility to blackleg disease caused by Dickeya spp.

Pectin lytic bacteria belonging to the genera Pectobacterium and Dickeya can cause several diseases on potato, such as stem rots, commonly named «blacklegs», and tuber rots, which are referred to as «soft rots». The blackleg symptom is the primary cause for the rejection of potato seed lots in Switzerland. The field trials conducted in this…