Bundesamt fur Landwirtschaft BLW

Bern, Switzerland

Bundesamt fur Landwirtschaft BLW

Bern, Switzerland
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Spycher S.,Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Changins Wadenswil ACW | Badertscher R.,Bundesamt fur Landwirtschaft BLW | Daniel O.,Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Changins Wadenswil ACW
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2013

Since 2009 agricultural data are collected within the framework of the project Farm Accountancy Data Network Agro-Environmental Indicators (AEI FADN). The indicator pesticide usage consists of key figures characterizing the practice of chemical plant protection. The crop specific number of spray rounds quantifies both the total number of times a crop has been treated, and also the number of treatments according to the major pesticide group. While there is a substantial regional variability, the mean number of spray rounds seems relatively stable. Differences to earlier surveys are minor, except in the case of oilseed rape. Although the survey currently covers only 1% of the area used for crop production in Switzerland, there is a fair agreement between the projected usage and the sales in the case of frequently used active ingredients. The estimates are uncertain for orchards and vines. In the case of vegetables there are not sufficient data available. In order to assess the potential environmental impacts, an ecotoxicological risk indicator based on the pesticide usage data is currently developed.


Becker B.,ETH Zurich | Zoss M.,ETH Zurich | Lehmann H.-J.,Bundesamt fur Landwirtschaft BLW
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2014

Society is facing major challenges in ensuring global food security. Global trends since the food-price crisis in 2008 have revealed significant new risks. In 2012, the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture decided to identify, quantify and prioritise these risks and to derive potential areas of intervention. A literature review based on the analysis of key publications (Subproject 2) provides a global perspective on the global food security situation and future projections. The literature study identified seven drivers influencing the future of the global food security system: (i) population growth; (ii) climate change; (iii) environmental degradation and competition for land, water and energy resources; (iv) changing dietary patterns and consumer preferences; (v) rise in, and volatility of food prices; (vi) increasing vertical integration of value chains in food production and markets; (vii) technological progress. The report identifies six intervention areas for which conclusions and options for action are suggested: (i) agricultural production; (ii) environmental sustainability and resource efficiency; (iii) dietary patterns; (iv) trade policies and the role of multinational food companies; (v) research and innovation; and (vi) international cooperation.


Mann S.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | Zimmermann A.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | Mohring A.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | Ferjani A.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | And 2 more authors.
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2012

Politically there is a broad consensus that the clearer orientation of the direct payment system towards the objectives of agricultural policy is a sensible aspect of the current reform process. However, there is disagreement as to whether the formerly animal-related contributions, as proposed in the communication on the agricultural policy 2014-2017 (AP 14-17, Federal Council 2012), should be changed to area and transferred to so-called security of supply contributions. Model calculations with SILAS and SWISSland show that such a shift would not only protect natural resources but would therefore also increase the average agricultural income by four percent.


Meier T.,Bundesamt fur Landwirtschaft BLW
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2013

Since the Swiss parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the revised Federal Act on Agriculture, the so-called Agriculture Policy for 2014-2017, and too few signatures in favour of a referendum against the policy were collected, the Federal Council has now drawn up provisions for implementation. The modified decrees will come into force on 1st January 2014. This article outlines the key points, the regulations concerning the new tools for direct payments, and demonstrates how the changes to the regulation relate to the modifications of the law. In addition, many provisions in the revised Act can be applied without the need for implementing regulations.


Schmid D.,Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Reckenholz Tanikon | Lanz S.,Bundesamt fur Landwirtschaft BLW
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2013

As part of the 2014-2017 agricultural policy, the Swiss Federal Council is proposing a contribution for grassland-based milk and meat production in the form of the socalled production-system contributions. With a view to the structuring of this new instrument and its future evaluation, the current situation as regards the feeding of ruminants in Switzerland is of interest. With the help of key bookkeeping figures from Agroscope's Farm Accountancy Data Network, we are investigating the composition of the feed ration of Swiss dairy farms. The proportion of feed from grassland is lower for mixed farms than for the specialised commercial dairy farms. Organic farms, farms with a lower milk yield and farms in higher-altitude zones have a higher percentage of grass in their rations. All in all, the composition of the feed varies significantly from one farm to another, and a majority of the farms possess the necessary conditions for satisfying the requirements of the new programme for grassland-based milk and meat production.


Knauer K.,Bundesamt fur Landwirtschaft BLW | Felix O.,Bundesamt fur Landwirtschaft BLW
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2012

Plant protection products are applied to farmed land to protect crops from harmful organisms. From there, they might be transported via drift and run-off to adjacent habitats. For the active substances, regulatory acceptable concentrations (RAC) for aquatic organisms are determined during the authorization process. As part of the process of assessing the environmental risk, these RAC values are compared to predicted environmental concentrations in surface waters. If the result of this comparison indicates that the risk for aquatic communities is too high, specific measures to reduce the risk will be taken. In order to protect surface waters from potentially harmful substances, buffer strips between the site of application and the threatened habitat will be specified. By using technical measures such as anti-drift nozzles and/or vegetation barriers, it is possible to further reduce the drift from the farmland. If these substances are applied according to the regulations, there will be no adverse side-effects for the environment.

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