The preservation of soil fertility and multiple soil functions faces various challenges both in Switzerland and throughout Europe. A survey carried out in Switzerland among people from practice, government agencies and research highlights problems and possible solutions.
On 16 November, visitors who had previously sent in soil samples as well as decomposed underwear and tea bags to Agroscope found out what became of them. On 25 November, a school class helped to analyse the samples.
New Agroscope Executive Board member: From 1 March 2022, Thomas Gentil will be the Deputy Head of Agroscope and Head of the Resources Unit. Most recently he was responsible for corporate development at the Swiss Federal Office of Police (fedpol).
Model calculations show how climate change will affect the water requirement for different crops grown on the Swiss Central Plateau. This will allow us to proactively plan for crop irrigation and adaptation to the changing climate.
Calculations carried out by the Swiss Soil Monitoring Network (NABO) over more than 30 years reveal that fertiliser applications and plant-protection products can lead to excess heavy metals in agricultural soils.
What are the possible routes of entry of plant-protection products into surface waters? Agroscope shows the potential input risks in terms of tile drainage, runoff and agricultural point sources for over 20'000 catchment areas.
Agroscope experts are conducting long-term trials to learn how high the natural regeneration potential of the soil is, how quickly a soil recovers after compaction, and what processes are particularly important here.
Easy-to-use and informative metrics are essential to allow farmers to measure and optimise the environmental impacts of their farming activity for themselves. The recently launched Agroscope research programme ‘Indicate’ aims to develop these metrics.
Agroscope conducts an annual analysis of the risks to food supply on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for Economic Supply FONES. In 2021, a power shortage, seed imports and climate change were addressed as particular risks.
Bacteria break down contaminants in the soil, make nutrients available to plants and protect plants from pathogens. Agroscope has analysed soil bacterial diversity throughout Switzerland for the first time.