Agroscope researchers calculated the nitrogen and phosphorus inputs into Swiss water bodies for the year 2020. Although these inputs decreased in comparison to 2010, the 'agriculture' environmental target for nitrogen inputs was missed by a significant margin.
The aim of the PFLOPF project is to reduce plant-protection use by at least 25%. This is to be achieved with Precision Farming technologies, including online forecasting tools, GPS steering systems, and sensor-controlled plant-protection and hoeing machines.
An ancient fodder crop that had been largely forgotten, sainfoin is experiencing a revival thanks to its ability to reduce ruminant emissions. Agroscope demonstrated a methane- and ammonia-reducing effect for dairy cows fed with fresh sainfoin.
The consumption of raw-milk products is considered to be healthy, but is not entirely risk-free due to the possible presence of pathogenic bacteria. Agroscope and BFH-HAFL investigated the microbiological safety of raw-milk yoghurt and showed that this is protected in several respects by fermentation.
By 2025, the SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) aims to control the vegetation in the track area without herbicides. Agroscope tested the effectiveness of hot-water treatments in a three-year trial and rates this method as a suitable alternative to herbicides.
Agroscope compiles annually updated inventories and projections for Swiss agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. With the change to reporting under the Paris Agreement, new bases for calculation must be taken into account. Despite this, the overall picture for agriculture remains largely unchanged.
On steep sites it is difficult to inject the soil with a useful fungus that kills off harmful cockchafer larvae. A motor mower equipped with spiked-tooth rollers and steered by remote control makes it possible to treat the meadows that are at risk.
With the help of satellite data, yields can be estimated both over a wide area and at individual field level. This is also possible in small-scale Swiss agriculture, as shown by a team consisting of ETH Zürich, the University of Zurich and Agroscope.
The United Nations has declared 2023 the ‘International Year of Millets’. Millets have advantages over other cereal species and forage plants: they are undemanding, drought-resistant, rich in minerals and gluten-free. For several years now, Agroscope has been researching the millet species sorghum, among others.
The available forage, climatic conditions and the measures for reducing ammonia emissions can adversely affect protein supplies for suckler cows. What is the impact on the weight and intake of the cows and their calves?
The energy expenditure for staggered greenhouse tomato production would be twice as high as that of the current means of production with no appreciable increase in yield. Even so, the current means of production might benefit from LED lighting.
Persistent organic pollutants may accumulate in the tissues of suckler cows and their calves. Agroscope and Empa studied the processes by which these undesirable substances accumulate as well as the decontamination of previously exposed animals.
Previously, grain diseases transmitted by seed were controlled with synthetic-chemical seed dressings. However, if seed is healthy, no treatment is necessary. As the demand for pesticide-free grain increases, professional seed inspection is gaining importance.
Scheduled for 20-21 April, the annual conference of the Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Sociology (SGA) will deal with the ‘Transformation of agri-food systems – sustainability and digitalisation of food value chains’. Registration is open up to 10 April.
Pest prevention plays an important role in reducing pesticide use. Nevertheless, the use of such measures is below the social optimum. A generally cautious attitude towards risk and adoption of other risk management measures hinder farmers' prevention efforts.