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Swiss farmers farm one-third of Switzerland’s surface area. They shape the landscape and influence not only the production of foodstuffs but also the diversity of living creatures and of the environment.
Our researchers are looking for ways in which agriculture can promote biodiversity through environmentally friendly farming and the creation of ecological compensation areas. They are also searching for ways of using this diversity in natural pest control, and are pointing out the risks that could disrupt the balance between useful creatures and pests.
With the help of life-cycle assessments, the environmental impact of a foodstuff from its production on the farm to its sale in the shops is studied, and options for minimising this impact are highlighted. In this way, both the environment and you the consumer should benefit from our work.
Soil, water, biodiversity and air: these are the natural resources on which agriculture is based. They provide our food as well as drinking water, renewable energy and help to recycle nutrients from organic waste. Careful use of these resources is becoming more and more important, as the needs of the world’s growing population are increasing at the same time as fossil energy, mineral phosphorus fertilisers, clean water and fertile soils are becoming scarce. Climate change and pollutants pose additional challenges.
Therefore, we examine the state of environmental resources and provide the scientific base to understand current changes in agricultural systems. We investigate the impact of agricultural management and climate change on natural resources and determine their limits of regeneration. From our findings, we elaborate recommendations for sustainable and multifunctional agriculture.
By means of experimental studies and long-term monitoring, we measure important parameters in the environment. We use long-standing data series to record changes, and develop models to answer current questions.
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