Extension and Teaching


Interpretation of soil analysis results and fertilisation recommendations

We assist environmental laboratories, extension workers and associations in all matters regarding the Principles of Agricultural Crop Fertilisation in Switzerland (PRIF), e.g. in interpreting soil test results and deriving fertilisation recommendations. In doing so, Agroscope supports the correct interpretation of results and the comparability of fertiliser recommendations by different institutions. In addition, we acquire insights into alternative fertilisation concepts such as the Kinsey concept or CULTAN method in field experiments in order to support management- and site-specific fertilisation recommendations.

Refining the Swiss reference methods for soil nutrient testing

Together with Agroscope’s ‘Environmental Analytics’ Research Group in the ‘Method Development and Analytics’ Competence Division, and in exchange with experts from other institutions, we update and refine the Swiss reference methods for soil nutrient testing. Our work focuses on the suitability of soil extractions with water (H2O10), CO2-saturated water (CO2), CaCl2 solution (CC) or ammonium acetate-EDTA (AAE10) for the determination of plant-available nutrient pools and their relationships to yield- and quality parameters. Our aim is to provide efficient, universally applicable and easily interpretable solutions for agricultural practice.

Lectures and excursions

Agroscope's long-term field trials are ideally suited to illustrating fertilisation effects and nutritional disorders in crops. In university excursions, agricultural science students learn to recognise and assign deficiency symptoms in the field. In addition, the long-term field trials are used for various extension, teaching, research and conference activities, e.g. to demonstrate the application of isotope tracers or imaging techniques for phenotyping in the field. Students learn in close proximity to current research from the experimental results of the long-term field trials, e.g. as part of the lecture on organic farming.