Biodiversity Indicators for Result-based Agri-environmental Schemes: an Overview
Those wishing to promote biodiversity in agriculture by means of result-based schemes need meaningful indicators. An overview of proposed and used indicators highlights developments and challenges.


How Foods of Animal Origin Can Contribute to a Healthy, Sustainable Diet
Foods of animal origin – friend or foe? It all depends on the needs of consumers and on local production conditions, as shown by a major review in which Agroscope took part.


Vegetable Production: Striking Reduction in Nitrate Leaching without Crop Residues
In vegetable production it is usual to leave crop residues on the field. Measurements carried out by Agroscope researchers show that removing these residues significantly reduces nitrate leaching.


1st European Healthy Soils Conference
The 1st European Healthy Soils Conference on soil fertility will take place in Muttenz from 13 to 15 September 2023. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 March.


Swiss Farmyard-Manure Market: Transports on the Rise
To balance their nutrient cycles, Swiss farms export surplus farmyard manure to farms with free uptake capacities or to composting and anaerobic digestion facilities. Between 2015 and 2020 the volumes of organic manure and recycled fertilisers transported rose significantly, with a consequent increase in transport costs.


Plant-Protection Products in Field Crops: Which Alternatives Have Potential?
Which measures are suitable for significantly reducing pesticide use in field crops? In the PestiRed project, farmers rate the implemented measures as largely positive; with a differentiated result for economic efficiency.


Brandies from Old Apple Varieties
The potential of old apple varieties often remains untapped. Agroscope and Fructus are testing which old apple varieties might stage a comeback as the raw material for distilling brandy.


The Right Varieties for Successful Baking
Agroscope researchers are investigating which grain varieties are best suited to backing Swiss Christmas cookies (Guetzli) or bread. The Swiss wheat variety ‘Dilago’ was specially bred for baking Guetzli.


New Merlot Clones for the Swiss Certification Sector
Five Merlot clones bred in Switzerland are currently being distributed by the certification sector. A multiyear trial conducted by Agroscope in Gudo (Canton of Ticino) has made it possible to compare them with French and Italian reference clones and to highlight their very good performances.


Global Warming Causes Changes in Insect Fauna
How has the distribution of insects in Switzerland changed over the past 40 years? The range of many species has expanded, while that of a similar number has contracted. In particular, cold-adapted species have lost ground. These are the findings published in the journal “Nature Communications”.


Beneficial Soil Fungi for Sustainable Plant Production
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are important for healthy soils and crops. A pan-European study shows that plant-protection products adversely affect these fungi, reducing their ability to supply plants with phosphorus via their roots.


Healthy Soil – the Foundation for a Productive Agricultural Sector
December 5th is World Soil Day. Only healthy soils guarantee high yields over the long term, which is why Agroscope researchers are focusing on this ecosystem.


Two New Varieties of Birdsfoot Trefoil Recommended
Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin are used in mixtures for perennial hay meadows and for tannin-containing fodder. Agroscope is adding two new cultivars of birdsfoot trefoil to the ‘List of Recommended Varieties of Forage Plants’, whilst there is no change in the case of sainfoin.


For Higher Yields: Breeding Plants that Cooperate
A simple breeding experiment, combined with genetic analysis, can rapidly uncover genes that promote cooperation and higher yields of plant populations.


The November 2022 agroscope magazine is online
The Agroscope Centre of Excellence for Raw-Milk Products investigated the popularity of Vacherin Fribourgeois PDO cheese. Read about this and many more studies in the latest issue of the magazine.


Effectively Reducing Nitrogen Surpluses
A comparison of different methods of winter-wheat fertilisation with nitrogen showed that nitrogen surpluses can be significantly reduced by means of site-specific variable-rate nitrogen fertilisation.


Direct Payments Bolster Family Employment on the Farm
Employment in the agricultural sector is declining in many European countries, especially in livestock farming. Direct payments can counter this trend and lead to the employment of more – especially female – family members on the farm.


Swiss Food Week: Plant Foods in Focus
The Swiss Food Week (14–18 November) revolves around plant proteins. Agroscope will be using the event to survey consumers online about plant foods and to introduce the ‘HybPiKäs’ project.


Mountain Milk Production with Dual-Purpose Cows: Outdated Tradition or Modern Moneyspinner?
Although milk-production oriented (MPO) cow breeds have also become established in the mountain region, farms with the dual-purpose ‘Original Simmental’ breed are proving to be economically viable, with lower costs and higher direct payments making up for lower revenues from milk.


Researching Together for a Healthy Diet
Agroscope and Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW are stepping up their cooperation in food research and have signed a memorandum of understanding.

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