Research Projects

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 Soil Monitoring Network NABO

Soil fertility is a cornerstone of sustainable soil use. The aims of the Swiss Soil Monitoring Network NABO are the countrywide recording and assessment of soil stresses and pollutants, as well as the early recognition of undesirable changes in order to safeguard soil fertility. This long-term programme makes an important contribution to the monitoring of ecological sustainability, provides solutions for dealing with soil hazards, and helps with the assessment of soil functions.


Interactions between Soil Structure and Soil Use

The ‘Soil Structure’ project deals with 4 aspects: (1) improved understanding of mechanical soil load-/deformation processes, as well as additional data on mechanical soil properties; (2) a fundamental understanding of anthropogenic and natural structural formation processes; (3) quantifying the structural quality of soils using direct and indirect indicators; (4) the pedological-agronomic evaluation of tillage experience and site-related soil assessment. The aim is to preserve or improve soil quality and function both for present and future generations.


Soil Ecological Engineering

With its great diversity and mass of living organisms, the soil forms an important basis for agricultural production. In this project, we investigate whether it is possible to improve soil functions with specific agricultural practices. This so-called soil ecological engineering should contribute to the further improvement of sustainable and productive cultivation systems.


Harnessing Beneficial Microorganisms in the Soil

Soils harbour a wide range of beneficial organisms with advantageous properties for agriculture. This research project explores and identifies such beneficial members of the plant microbiome. The aim is to use beneficial microorganisms to develop a more sustainable agricultural sector and to reduce reliance on agrochemical products whilst maintaining yield levels.


Impact of Pesticides on Soil Fertility

Plant-Protection Products (PPPs) are used worldwide. We still do not know much about whether PPPs have a negative impact on soil life and soil fertility. Recent research has demonstrated that a broad spectrum of PPP residues are detectable in the soil. In this project, we investigate whether PPPs have a negative effect on important soil functions and on soil life, and how these can be assessed.