Lutz Merbold hopes to make a more positive impact on the climate debate in agriculture at Agroscope. Using agroecological approaches, he hopes to highlight potential solutions. More about him in our Portrait.
As the harmful Japanese beetle has now become established in Sottoceneri (canton of Ticino), the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture has ordered containment measures. These are intended to halt the further spread of this pest in Switzerland.
An Agroscope study shows the adverse affect of cubicles that are too small on the lying behaviour of large cows in free stalls. New-builds must therefore be proactively geared to the future body size of cows.
Agroscope examined whether it is possible to forgo the use of PPPs with a high risk potential for the environment. The results show that this would make effective crop protection more difficult, especially for field and vegetable crops, but also in organic farming.
Sown wildflower strips improve pest control, and diverse, perennial strips also improve pollination services. Hedgerows in Switzerland yielded good results, while internationally effects were inconsistent. The effects on yield were variable.