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The International Organization for Biological Control of Noxious Animals and Plants (IOBC) was founded in 1956 in Europe under the auspices of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS). In 1971, IOBC Global was established with six Regional Sections that represent the world's major biogeographical zones. The main objective of IOBC is to promote the development of biological control and its application in integrated pest management programs and integrated production. The West Palaearctic Regional Section of the IOBC (IOBC/WPRS) which covers the EU region, North Africa and the Near East has at present 20 Working Groups (WG) and four Commissions which are categorised in crop, method and pest focused groups. The role of the WG and Commissions is to offer platforms that bring biocontrol, IPM/IP and other crop protection stakeholders together to foster collaboration, exchange of information and knowledge, to initiate cooperation for research and implementation of sustainable crop protection methods and strategies. WG and Commissions are open to any person, institution and organization, public or private, that desire to promote the objectives of IOBC. Three examples of WG are discussed in more detail in the paper showing how activities are developed and outcomes implemented in biocontrol and Integrated Pest Management. Source

Frey M.P.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Frey M.P.,ETH Zurich | Stamm C.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Schneider M.K.,Agroscope Reckenholz Taenikon Research Station ART | And 2 more authors.
Water Resources Research

A distributed hydrological model was used to simulate the distribution of fast runoff formation as a proxy for critical source areas for herbicide pollution in a small agricultural catchment in Switzerland. We tested to what degree predictions based on prior knowledge without local measurements could be improved upon relying on observed discharge. This learning process consisted of five steps: For the prior prediction (step 1), knowledge of the model parameters was coarse and predictions were fairly uncertain. In the second step, discharge data were used to update the prior parameter distribution. Effects of uncertainty in input data and model structure were accounted for by an autoregressive error model. This step decreased the width of the marginal distributions of parameters describing the lower boundary (percolation rates) but hardly affected soil hydraulic parameters. Residual analysis (step 3) revealed model structure deficits. We modified the model, and in the subsequent Bayesian updating (step 4) the widths of the posterior marginal distributions were reduced for most parameters compared to those of the prior. This incremental procedure led to a strong reduction in the uncertainty of the spatial prediction. Thus, despite only using spatially integrated data (discharge), the spatially distributed effect of the improved model structure can be expected to improve the spatially distributed predictions also. The fifth step consisted of a test with independent spatial data on herbicide losses and revealed ambiguous results. The comparison depended critically on the ratio of event to preevent water that was discharged. This ratio cannot be estimated from hydrological data only. The results demonstrate that the value of local data is strongly dependent on a correct model structure. An iterative procedure of Bayesian updating, model testing, and model modification is suggested. © 2011 by the American Geophysical Union. Source

Schenzel J.,Agroscope Reckenholz Taenikon Research Station ART | Schenzel J.,ETH Zurich | Forrer H.-R.,Agroscope Reckenholz Taenikon Research Station ART | Vogelgsang S.,Agroscope Reckenholz Taenikon Research Station ART | Bucheli T.D.,Agroscope Reckenholz Taenikon Research Station ART
Mycotoxin Research

Mycotoxins are known to affect the health of humans and husbandry animals. In contrast to wheat grains used for food and feed, whole wheat plants are rarely analysed for mycotoxins, although contaminated straw could additionally expose animals to these toxic compounds. Since the entire wheat plant may also act as source of mycotoxins emitted into the environment, an analytical method was developed, optimised and validated for the analysis of 28 different mycotoxins in above-ground material from whole wheat plants. The method comprises solid-liquid extraction and a clean-up step using a Varian Bond Elut Mycotoxin® cartridge, followed by liquid chromatography with electrospray ionisation and triple quadrupole mass spectrometry. Total method recoveries for 26 out of 28 compounds were between 69 and 122% and showed limits of detection from 1 to 26 ng/gdry weight (dw). The overall repeatability for all validated compounds was on average 7%, and their mean ion suppression 65%. Those rather high matrix effects made it necessary to use matrix-matched calibrations to quantify mycotoxins within whole wheat plants. The applicability of this method is illustrated with data from a winter wheat test field to examine the risks of environmental contamination by toxins following artificial inoculation separately with four different Fusarium species. The selected data originate from samples of a part of the field which was inoculated with Fusarium crookwellense. In the wheat samples, various trichothecenes (3-acetyl- deoxynivalenol, deoxynivalenol, diacetoxyscirpenol, fusarenone-X, nivalenol, HT-2 toxin, and T-2 toxin) as well as beauvericin and zearalenone were identified with concentrations ranging from 32 ng/gdw to 12 × 103 ng/gdw. © 2012 Society for Mycotoxin Research and Springer. Source

Schrade S.,Agroscope Reckenholz Taenikon Research Station ART | Gygax L.,Center for Proper Housing of Ruminants and Pigs | Keck M.,Agroscope Reckenholz Taenikon Research Station ART
ASABE - 9th International Livestock Environment Symposium 2012, ILES 2012

Ammonia (NH3) emission factors for a naturally ventilated cubicle loose housing system with solid floors and an exercise yard alongside were calculated based on our emission measurements on six commercial dairy farms using the tracer ratio method. A model-based calculation with bootstrapped variance components was used. Milk urea levels from the Cattle Breeders' Association in Switzerland and air temperature data over five years at two altitudes (mountain region, plain region) from Switzerland together with two different wind speeds in the housing (0.3 and 0.5 m s-1) formed the underlying data for this model-based calculation. The calculated NH3 emission factors ranged between 22 and 25 g LU·d-1. With this approach it was possible to determine regionally differentiated NH3 emission factors based on widely available underlying data of high temporal and spatial resolution, thereby showing regional differences in climatic conditions and feeding levels. Source

Schrade S.,Agroscope Reckenholz Taenikon Research Station ART | Zeyer K.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Gygax L.,Center for Proper Housing of Ruminants and Pigs | Emmenegger L.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | And 2 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment

From an agricultural and environmental policy perspective there is a pressing need for up-to-date emission data on ammonia (NH 3) from dairy farming. The main aim of this study was to determine NH 3 emissions for the most common dairy farming situation in Switzerland of loose housing with an outdoor exercise area. Measurements were taken on six commercial farms, in naturally ventilated cubicle loose housing systems with solid floors and an outdoor exercise area located alongside the housing. The variation in climate over the course of a year was covered by a total of twelve measuring periods, in two out of three seasons (summer, transition period, winter) per farm. A tracer ratio method with two tracer gases (SF 6, SF 5CF 3) was employed to determine emissions from two areas of different source intensity. A variety of accompanying parameters was used to characterise each measuring situation and to derive the relevant influencing variables. The daily average NH 3 emission across all farms varied from 31 to 67-g LU -1-d -1 in summer, from 16 to 44-g LU -1-d -1 in the transition period, and from 6 to 23-g LU -1-d -1 in winter (1 LU-=-500-kg live weight). From a linear mixed-effects model the wind speed in the housing (p-<-0.001) and the interaction of outside temperature and the urea content of the tank milk (p-<-0.001) emerged as significant variables influencing NH 3 emission. A model-based calculation with bootstrapped variance components was used to calculate yearly averaged emission factors for two mountain and plain regions and two wind speeds (0.3 and 0.5-m-s -1). The model input was based on milk urea contents from commercial dairy farms and air temperatures over a five-year period. The calculated NH 3 emission factors, which thus accounted for regional differences due to climatic conditions and feeding levels, ranged between 22 and 25-g LU -1-d -1. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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