How ecologically competitive are Swiss agricultural products in comparison to imports? This question becomes more important when the framework conditions for foreign trade change. In this sutdy, we outlined the strengths and weaknesses of Swiss cereal, potato, milk and meat production by comparing Swiss produce with that of our major import countries.
The stipulated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions also calls for special efforts in agriculture. In arable farming there are numerous options for action, e.g. optimal crop-rotation design, optimised fertiliser use and reduced tillage. These options are evaluated via field trials and LCA’s.
Low-input systems have the potential to reduce environmental impacts; however, the productivity of these systems is also lower, which limits their overall performance. Moreover, the crop varieties and production techniques used often originate from high-input systems. SOLIBAM aims to increase the performance of low-input systems by developing cropping systems adapted to low-input conditions.
Optimising crop rotation according to economic and environmental criteria allows us to improve their performance. As part of the CASDAR-PCB Project , various field-crop rotations in France were studied using the SALCA method.
Meat is an important food in Switzerland, and of major economic importance for the retail trade and the farming sector. At the same time, meat production places a burden on our environment, for which it has increasingly come under fire. Exactly how much environmental pollution is created by a kilo of meat, though? Does it depend on where and how this meat was produced?
Where crop production and livestock husbandry go hand-in-hand, synergies can be exploited. Throughout Europe, however, we are increasingly seeing regional specialisation in agriculture. In Switzerland, agricultural diversity remains high. Switzerland – a model pupil?
Policymakers and society are placing increasing environmental demands on agriculture. To enable these to be taken into account, Agroscope and two experienced partners are together offering a holistic farm LCA service.
Agriculture supplies us with food and helps shape our landscape, but also pollutes the environment with nutrients and other emissions. How can we improve the environmental impact of farms? What types of farms perform well, and where does the greatest potential for improvement lie?
The economic-ecological analysis of the agricultural sector is a longstanding concern of Agroscope’s. Two already-concluded projects drew a link between LCA environmental indicators and economic optimisation models. Currently, the question of whether and how LCA environmental indicators could be integrated into the economic models is being investigated.
In Switzerland, around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by agriculture. IP-SUISSE aims to make its farmers aware of this problem, and is drafting a catalogue of measures together with Agroscope.