Research Projects SRF 14


Avoiding Micropollutants from Agriculture

Natural toxins from agriculture such as steroid hormones, mycotoxins and plant toxins are micropollutants in our surface waters. This project clarifies their identity, the extent of their input, and the resulting environmental pollution, thereby helping to minimise the risk such compounds pose for humans and the environment.


Reducing Emissions

Livestock husbandry produces undesirable emissions in the form of ammonia and greenhouse gases. In order to achieve the environmental objectives for agriculture, effective yet practical measures are needed. In the experimental dairy-cow housing for emissions research, structural, process-engineering and organisational reduction measures as well as feeding strategies are examined comparatively and evaluated.

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Inputs in Swiss Surface Waters

Inputs of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from agriculture into surface waters are one of the most important agricultural environmental problems. By means of lysimeter and field trials, Agroscope develops scientific knowledge for reducing nutrient losses from agriculture into surface- and groundwater. This allows us to deduce recommendations for practice.

Resource Use and Material Flows in Agroecosystems

The agricultural sector is faced with major challenges: available resources such as plant nutrients and arable land are becoming scarce. Moreover, adjustments must be made due to the changing climate. Agroscope develops solutions for using re-sources more efficiently and for increasing yields per hectare whilst keeping environmental impacts as low as possible.

Swiss Agri-Environmental Data Network

How sustainable is the Swiss agricultural sector? How do different regions and farm types differ in terms of sustainability? As part of the Federal Office for Agriculture’s agri-environmental monitoring project, the AEI Competence Centre at Agroscope deals with these issues. For this, 16 agri-environmental indicators in the dimensions of nitrogen, phosphorus, soil, energy, climate, water and biodiversity are calculated, evaluated and published annually.

Refining the SALCA Life-Cycle Assessment Method and Calculation Tools

Policy-makers and society are united in the desire for an environmentally friendly agriculture and food sector. In order to meet these expectations, a comprehensive environmental-impact assessment is necessary. In this way, we ensure that the measures developed achieve the desired effect without resulting in any undesirable side-effects. The SALCA Project develops and uses the LCA method and calculation tools to this end.

Assessing the Sustainability of Farms

Sustainably run farms are of paramount importance for the future of the agriculture and food sector. This project develops operationalisable indicators for the comprehensive assessment of the sustainability of farms in each of the three dimensions of environment, economy, and social matters. The results of the farm assessments are to be used to improve management strategies.

Odour Impacts from Livestock Husbandry

Odour from animal husbandry can be a nuisance for local residents where there are local flows with a fairly large range of odour dispersion. Agroscope develops methods for a more targeted site assessment, in order to take better account of the type and location of the farm on the specific site. This allows us to derive recommendations for the planning of animal-housing facilities, for the choice of site, and for the avoidance of odour complaints.