Agroscope breeds fodder plants for grassland-based animal production. This provides Swiss farmers with high-yielding varieties of grasses and clover for cultivation in temporary-ley mixtures. The raw materials for new varieties are formed by ecotypes from Swiss natural meadows and pastures. Ecotypes are plants that have specialised in the prevailing environmental conditions. Agroscope uses them to develop varieties ideally adapted to the soils, climate and management in Switzerland. The aim is to breed perennial fodder plants with competitive vigour that are resistant to major diseases as well as providing high-quality roughage. Since 2004, Agroscope has also run a special organic breeding programme.