Agroscope has set up a fenced and guarded test field in Zurich on behalf of the Federal Government. The Protected Site is open to Swiss researchers wishing to carry out basic or applied research. In 2014 the University of Zurich launched a field trial with GM wheat lines. The Protected Site allows to study the opportunities and risks of genetic engineering for agriculture.
Fewer Mycotoxins in Wheat thanks to Alder Buckthorn Bark and Tannic Acid
Fusarium fungi attack cereals and maize and infect crops with toxins (so-called mycotoxins). Over the past fifteen years, a twentyfold increase in the infestation of wheat with Fusarium graminearum has been observed in Switzerland. Experiments with alder buckthorn bark, Chinese galls, tannic acid and rhubarb have demonstrated that suspensions of medicinal-plant meals can be as effective as synthetic fungicides against this Fusarium fungus.
Multi-Actor Approach Strengthens Search for Practical Solutions for Fire Blight
The plant disease fire blight is a priority problem in Swiss fruit production. Research needs to develop practical solutions for antibiotic-free management of fire blight. Agroscope leads the project ‘Together against Fire Blight’ (2014-17) in collaboration with the Schweizer Obstverband (Swiss Fruit Association) and the Federal Office for Agriculture. Various actors from the sector contribute to the research activities as well as financially.