Artisan Cheesemakers to Gather in Switzerland
After Slovenia last year, it’s Switzerland’s turn to host the annual congress of the Farmhouse and Artisan Cheesemakers European (FACE) Network in October 2023.


Nitrogen and Phosphorus Inputs in Water Bodies: New Estimates for Agriculture
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.


Using Modern Technology to Optimise Plant-Protection Application
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.


Sainfoin – an Alternative to Clover/Grass Mixtures When Feeding Green Fodder to Dairy Cows?
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.


Microbiological Safety of Raw-Milk Yoghurt
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.


Controlling Plant Growth in the Track Area with Hot Water
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.


Direct Payments Go Hand in Hand with Off-farm Employment
According to the international literature, direct payments influence the decision of farm managers to pursue off-farm employment. An Agroscope study looked into what this meant in the Swiss context.


Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2023: New Calculation Guidelines Leave Overall Picture for Agriculture Largely Unchanged
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.


What Makes Swiss Cheese Unique?
British YouTuber Tom Scott looks behind the scenes of cheese research at Agroscope.


Natural Cockchafer Control: New Machine for Steep Sites
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.


Remote Sensing Allows Prediction of Yields within Grain Fields
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.


Do Different Generations Eat Differently?
Agroscope researchers analysed the dietary trends of the different generations in Switzerland. The findings help with the preparation of more-accurate dietary forecasts.


Growing Sorghum in Switzerland – Interdisciplinary Research in the Year of Millets
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.


Undersupply of Protein to Suckler Cows: What Are the Implications?
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?


Year-Round Greenhouse Tomato Production Would Be Very Energy-Intensive
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.


Suckler Cows May Transfer Organic Pollutants to their Offspring: How Does This Process Work?
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.


Investigation of Seed Grain Health Allows to Reduce the Application of Plant Protection Products
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.


Routes to Resilient, Sustainable and Secure Agricultural and Food Systems
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.


Risk-taking Farmers Are More Likely to Apply Pest Prevention
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.


The March 2023 agroscope magazine is online
The spring issue of agroscope Magazine showcases our wide range of research activities and our commitment to increasingly sustainable agricultural production.

URL for direct access