02 Grafik_Allélopathie_web

Allelopathy for Weed Control

Some plants produce allelochemical compounds which have growth-suppressing effects on other plants. This phenomenon is of interest to weed scientists, who aim to develop herbicide-free methods for controlling weeds in field crops. Agroscope is evaluating the potential of certain cover crops (e.g. buckwheat, oats, radish) for combatting weeds. The experiments clearly demonstrate that allelopathy plays a role in suppressing the growth of amaranth. Work will continue to extend this control method to other weeds.

08 Landschaft_Boden_web

Using Microbiomes for Agriculture

By developing core competencies for the analysis of microbiomes, Agroscope researchers were able to generate numerous important findings in joint internal and external research projects. Highlights were the observation of a correlation between microbial communities and type of land use, the discovery of new active substances, and initial results with the application of isolated strains. In future, this could help to combat soil-borne pests and reduce the use of plant-protection products.


15 Mykorrhiza_web

Soil Engineering with Beneficials

Soil plays a key role in food production. Soil quality can be improved by encouraging beneficial soil biota – either indirectly via cultivation methods that support beneficials, or directly by introducing the desired beneficials. Agroscope tested whether inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi increases yields. Conclusion: on some maize fields, yields increased by up to 30%; on others, there was no effect. Agroscope is now working to determine the conditions under which such an inoculation is cost-effective.


14 Erosion_web.JPG

Soil Erosion Can Be Prevented

Both in Switzerland and worldwide, erosion ranks as one of the greatest threats to the resource soil. A unique dataset from twenty years of erosion-damage mapping in the region of Frienisberg (canton of Bern) shows the extent and trend of soil erosion. Although soil erosion varies from year to year, it has decreased markedly over the past twenty years; the promotion of practical soil-protection measures and the raising of awareness among producers are making an impact.