Production Systems


Extensive production systems have lower environmental impacts per area than intensive systems, but the picture changes depending on the product unit. Furthermore, organic farming is characterised by lower yields, a correspondingly higher land requirement, lower toxicity from pesticides, lower demand for fossil energy and mineral resources, higher biodiversity per area, higher nutrient losses per product unit and similar greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional production according to PEP standards. It also appears that mixed as opposed to specialised agricultural systems perform more or less favourably or that there is no difference between the two, depending on the environmental impact per kg of product. The result per farm may differ from the result per kg of product.

Since 2021, the integrated production system implemented by the farmers’ association IP-SUISSE has been supplemented by a point system in the category of climate protection, with which the approx. 10,000 member farms hope to save a total of 10% on greenhouse gas emissions. Agroscope provided scientific support for the development of this point system in a resource project promoted by the FOAG and is now examining the effectiveness of the system in its first few years.

In the EU project ‘Circular Agronomics’, Agroscope is involved in investigating practical and technical solutions for closing the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus loops in European agriculture.

Consumer purchasing behaviour also has a crucial influence on environmental impacts. Short value chains usually have environmental advantages when big shops are done in one place using environmentally friendly transport, as shown in the EU project Smartchain.