We support the ecological use of meadows and pastures and the development of sustainable grassland and upland farming systems. Our research aims to produce multifunctional milk and meat production systems based on efficient and environmentally sound grassland use and animal-friendly livestock husbandry.
We study the management of productive, botanically stable swards that are suited to their location, which provide nutritious feed and are able to cover most of the nutritional requirements of high-performance livestock.
We develop a wide range of seed mixtures for various site conditions and types of use, with which to sow temporary leys and species-rich permanent pasture.
We devise concepts and methods for preserving low-input, species-rich hay meadows and nutrient-poor grassland and pasture which are valuable in terms of nature conservation, and which provide forage for less-demanding ruminants.
We develop grazing techniques geared to both livestock type and farm type. Particular attention is paid to the ever-more-frequent dry spells.
We deal with issues concerning the integration of production and environmental targets on the farm, paying optimal attention to the given site conditions.
Temporary leys provide large amounts of valuable forage, and are therefore essen-tial in agricultural crop rotations. The aim of this research project is to utilise world-wide progress in breeding to develop seed mixtures for forage production that are optimally tailored to the needs of the Swiss agricultural sector.
Meadows and pastures in the mountain area provide important services to society – including high-quality feed or valuable biodiversity. Despite direct payments from the federal government, these services are under threat from ongoing structural and climate change. Our research project aims to use improved process knowledge to develop innovative and efficient management strategies for promoting grassland ecosystem services in the mountain area.
As a function of their management, their botanical composition and the climate, our grasslands supply various benefits and services such as the production of food and feed – not just for livestock, but also for pollinating insects. An attempt to optimise just one of these services runs the risk of jeopardising anoth-er. The aim of this project is therefore to develop decision-support tools capable of encompassing the varied nature of these services. For this, the tools must take ac-count of productivity, quality, conservation and utilisation of the herbage, as well as the preservation of the environment.