Lausanne, Switzerland
Lausanne, Switzerland
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Sijtsema S.J.,Wageningen University | Zimmermann K.,Wageningen University | Cvetkovic M.,University of Banja Luka | Stojanovic Z.,University of Belgrade | And 6 more authors.
LWT - Food Science and Technology | Year: 2012

The aim of the study was to gain a better understanding of the consumption and perception of processed fruits in Western Balkan countries in order to support consumer-oriented product development.In-depth interviews (n = 183) were used to explore the consumption of processed fruits, the motives to consume such fruits and the barriers to doing so in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. The Western Balkan region has a rich tradition of home-made fruit products, which might influence consumers' perception of processed fruits.Generally, more fruit juice is consumed in these countries than jams and dried fruits. Motives to consume fruit products are taste and health, and being a substitute when fresh fruit is unavailable. The most important barriers to the consumption of processed fruits are price and a preference for fresh fruits; also mentioned were availability, product safety and the absence of habitual consumption of such products. Consumers express that they prefer home-processed to industrial products, as they trust neither the producers nor the ingredients.Recommendations are presented for consumer-oriented product development and innovations in fruit processing, in which target groups, consumption moment, and perception of fruit and processed fruit should be taken into consideration. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

The objective of this study was to calculate the national costs associated with udder health in Switzerland and to estimate the cost effectiveness of an udder health intervention program. In 49 farms, yearly mastitis associated costs before and during an intervention were collected at herd level. Costs were calculated for each lactating cow being present in the herd. At the beginning of the intervention, 24 farms received a report with recommendations to improve the udder health. In the following year, those herds were followed-up by their veterinarian at a monthly basis. The other 25 farms were used as a negative control group and neither received any recommendations nor any follow-up. In the fi rst year of analysis (2010), the median udder health associated costs were 209.– Swiss Francs for each lactating cow, regardless of the intervention group. During the intervention period (2012), mastitis associated costs were 191.– Swiss Francs for control farms and 396.– Swiss Francs for farms with veterinary intervention on a monthly basis. The median additional costs for herds with intervention were 159.– Swiss Francs per lactating cow. At the national level, mastitis associated costs were estimated at 129.4 millions of Swiss Francs per year. The cost effectiveness of future mastitis control programs can be evaluated with the help of the deterministic model developed during this study. © 2014 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern.

Heidinger I.M.M.,Bee Institute Kirchhain | Hein S.,AGRIDEA | Feldhaar H.,University of Bayreuth | Poethke H.-J.,University of Würzburg
Conservation Genetics | Year: 2013

The stability and long-term survival of animal populations in fragmented landscapes largely depends on the colonisation of habitat patches and the exchange of individuals between patches. The degree of inter-patch dispersal, in turn, depends on the dispersal abilities of species and the landscape structure (i. e. the nature of the landscape matrix and habitat distribution). Here, we investigated the genetic structure of populations of Metrioptera bicolor, a wing-dimorphic bush cricket, in a spatially structured landscape with patches of suitable habitat distributed within a diverse matrix of different habitat types. Using six microsatellite markers, we assessed the effects of geographic distance and different matrix types on the extent of genetic differentiation among 24 sampling sites. We found that forest and a river running through the study area both impede inter-patch dispersal. The presence of these two matrix types was positively correlated with the extent of genetic differentiation between sites. In addition, we found a significant positive correlation between pairwise genetic and geographic distances for a subsample of sites which were separated only by arable land or settlements. For the complete data set, this correlation could not be found. This is most probably because the adverse effect of forest and river on gene flow dominates the effect of geographic distance in our limited set of patches. Our analyses clearly emphasize the differential resistance of different habitat types on dispersal and the importance of a more detailed view on matrix "quality" in metapopulation studies. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

AGRIDEA has assembled the results of its annual forage survey (nutrient, mineral and trace elements content) undertaken between 2005 and 2009. Data of 1077 samples of ventilated dry forage were used in a statistical analysis to detect the various influences of factors such as year, region, altitude and botanical composition on the nutrient and mineral content of ventilated dry forage. The region influences significantly most of the nutrient contents, except for copper. Altitude influences the crude fiber, major minerals, manganese and zinc. The effect of the year is statistically significant on a majority of the nutrient contents, with the exception of crude protein, ash and potassium. The effect of botanical composition could not be determined due to the fact that most samples came from balanced meadows or grass-rich meadows. This study provides a representative picture of the regional quality of dry forages in Switzerland. Differences between intensive forage regions and mountain zones are sometimes considerable. This survey data could in the future be used in feed data bases or geographic information systems.

Home R.,Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL | Rump N.,AGRIDEA
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension | Year: 2015

Purpose: Scholars agree that evaluation of participatory action research is inherently valuable; however there have been few attempts at evaluating across methods and across interventions because the perceived success of a method is affected by context, researcher skills and the aims of the participants. This paper describes the systematic evaluation of participatory action research with 17 European networks (LINSA) as part of a research project titled SOLINSA: Support of Learning and Innovation Networks for Sustainable Agriculture. Methodology: Participatory action research was carried out over three years in collaboration with the 17 LINSA using a learning-oriented evaluation that was adapted to SOLINSA. The collaboration was evaluated using a structured evaluation instrument that was developed in the project. Findings: The primary achievements of the interactions were based around enabling LINSA to reflect on their state and their practices. Joint reflection; facilitated by a member of the research team and in collaboration with the LINSA, stimulated internal engagement, enabled rethinking of the network's positioning, contributed to strategy development, and enabled creation of concrete outputs. Participation in the reflection process served to encourage commitment to the LINSA by individuals while improving relationships within the LINSA. Researchers and participants expressed that collaborative action research can be considered successful when both parties give and gain benefits, such as new knowledge or improved practical solutions. Practical implications: Comparison of self-evaluation of different networks using a single tool enabled the identification of common factors that contribute to successful collaboration. Included in these common factors was the need to identify and build a working relationship with key partners based on mutual trust and commitment, and to gain a balance between guidance and listening, interactions and freedom, and positive and critical reflection: a fragile equilibrium that is difficult and time consuming to establish. Originality: The adaptation of learning-oriented evaluation, by including a structure to allow comparison between the wide range of contexts, provides a useful instrument for evaluating participatory action research processes. © 2014, © 2014 Wageningen University.

Taramarcaz J.,AGRIDEA | Clerc M.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2013

The pilot farm Mapraz was set up to give an answer to various questions related to the conversion of farms without livestock to organic farming. After twelve years of evaluation whereof during the last six years two crop rotation systems were compared (one with one year temporarily -TL and one with two years of TL) the result shows that the average wheat yields are 8% lower than the comparability index for wheat or matchable to the organic comparability index for field bean and oat. The contribution margins are between CHF 250.-/ha and CHF 670.-/ha lower than the comparability index in organic agriculture with livestock. The crop rotation system with 2 years of TL presents a better contribution margin (CHF 200.-/ha) and is less labor intensive (-2 hours/ha) than the crop rotation system with 1 year of TL.

Sandrini F.,Hochschule fur Agrar | Durgiai B.,Hochschule fur Agrar | Aubert S.,AGRIDEA | Meier H.,AGRIDEA
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2014

How to optimize agricultural extension for a successful farm management? Production costs play a key role in the competitiveness of agricultural enterprises. In the past, various actors in agricultural consultancy and education offered advanced training, but the number of participants remained below expectations. To investigate the reasons for this low participation and determine measures for improvement, the Opticost working group conducted semi-structured interviews with experts who were project managers, consultants and participants in five economic advanced training projects in Swiss agriculture. The group also interviewed consultants from economic training projects on French, German and Austrian agriculture and from another project outside this sector in Switzerland. The analysis of the expert interviews was carried out according to Meyer (2009), the theoretical coding according to Böhm (1994). The results showed that a distinction could be made in the target group between innovative and reactive participation behaviour patterns. Persons with innovative behaviour patterns participated in the advanced training programmes out of their own initiative, whereas persons with reactive patterns participated out of operational necessity. In the configuration of the training programmes, the importance of educational demands and target groups orientation influenced the composition of the participants. Direct communication showed the best effect in raising the awareness of the participants. Lastly there should be more adaptation to the target group in future, and more agricultural associations, consultants, fiduciaries etc. should be included.

Bravin E.,Agroscope | Carint D.,AGRIDEA | Hanhart J.,AGRIDEA
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

In Switzerland about 2,134 fruit-growers cultivate 4,187 ha apples and 789 ha pears. 60% of the apple and pear orchards are cultivated by fruit-growers with more than 5 ha (FAOG, 2011). The federal Research Station Agroscope in Wädenswil Switzerland works in collaboration with the organization for rural and agriculture development in Switzerland AGRIDEA to evaluate the economic situation of Swiss fruit-growers - with the project Support Obst Arbo (SOA). Growers participating to the project collect data with the field record system software "Asa-jAgrar". Results from the SOA network are not representative for all the Swiss fruit-growers. The SOA network includes particularly growers of the eastern part of Switzerland with more than 5 ha. Important results from the SOA project for Swiss fruit-growers are: production costs and revenues, labor distribution, identification of factors that most influence the profit. A relevant result for fruit-growers participating to the project is the benchmark within the network.

Bravin E.,Institute For Pflanzenbauwissenschaften Ipb | Hanhart J.,Agridea | Carint D.,Agridea | Dietiker D.,Agridea
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2014

In 1947 today’s date Agroscope started the collection of on farm data to draft extension information and indices for grower prices. Agridea and Agroscope lead the project Support Obst Arbo (SOA), which gives detailed basics for growers, extension and research. 20–25 references fruit farms deliver their data to the project to evaluate the on farm and on plot profitability. The evaluation with normed salary and machine costs shows that the benefit of the half of the growers is equal to zero or lower. This limits the flexibility of investments. From 2001 to 2011 the variety distribution has changed. Gala, Braeburn e Golden Delicious are still the most popular varieties. However Milwa, Fuji, Nicoter and Scifresh increased in surface. The profitability between cultivars is very variable: Gala, Braeburn e Fuji achieve better results, while Golden Delicious and Milwa have poor results. This because Golden Delicious is low in price and Milwa has low yield despite good prices. © 2014, AMTRA - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All right reserved.

Summering fattening cattle on alpine pastures has the advantage of utilising the whey and optimising the number of animals on said pastures. The LACTOBEEF project followed two mountain stockbreeders from the Gruyère Pays d’Enhaut Regional Nature Park. Traditionally, these stockbreeders fatten pigs on their whey and raise dairy heifers. The trial addresses the economic consequences when 24 and 34 fattening cattle replace the equivalent in heifers, to utilise 47 000 and 46 000 litres of whey, respectively. In practice, raising these cattle is compatible with raising the dairy cows, and the breeders would be prepared to carry on. The «partial budget» approach reveals an economic shortage of the order of CHF 4000 for the season, essentially linked to labour (75% of costs), i.e. a cost of between 8 and 9 centimes per litre of whey. The work – estimated at 40 minutes per day, with optimised layouts and practices – is compatible with the mountain stockbreeder’s work. Investments are limited (around CHF 1500 for facilities) and reversible. Implementation of this activity can only be contemplated if a sector for the supply of whey-consuming finishing-phase cattle is created, and their take-up and marketing is ensured. © 2016, AMTRA - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All Rights Reserved.

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