Climate Change, Pests and Pathogens on the Radar
Do you still remember this summer’s oppressive heat wave in June/July? Agricultural crops suffered from the drought, and harvest losses were experienced.
Climate experts are forecasting more-and-more-frequent periods of drought for the future. Are we at the mercy of this fate? No, because Agroscope researchers are working on solutions. Optimising irrigation is one possible solution, as is the use and breeding of crop varieties that need less water and tolerate heat better. As regards the production of roughage for livestock, for example, resource efficiency is needed in order to achieve an adequate harvest despite the drought. Read about what Agroscope is undertaking in this respect in the article ‘More than the Sum of its Parts’.
It is not just the direct effects of climate change that concern Agroscope, however, but the indirect ones as well. Recently emerged pests and pathogens and existing ones that have grown stubborn are equally problematic. This year too, the spotted-wing drosophila has once again become a talking point. However, the article ‘European Foulbrood: a Serious Disease in Swiss Apiaries’ is about a bacterium that has been afflicting our bee colonies for some time now.
Pests and pathogens are particularly undesirable in the food chain. The article ‘Stopping Persistent Bacteria in the Food Chain’ highlights possible solutions for the problem. Here, the issue is food safety.
Food of impeccable quality, free from pests and symptoms of disease – that is precisely what Swiss consumers are looking for. Farmers must take measures in order to guarantee this quality. Agroscope is developing new strategies and is helping new plant-protection products come onto the market, particularly for low-acreage crops for which the industry has no interest in initiating an authorisation process. What Agroscope is doing to this effect – ultimately for you as a consumer – is revealed in the cover story, ‘Getting Plant-Protection Products Use Right for Small-Scale Growers’.
Agroscope is the right point of contact for addressing issues in the agriculture and food sector – because we are dealing with tomorrow’s topics, today.
Jean-Philippe Mayor, Deputy CEO Agroscope