Frick, Switzerland
Frick, Switzerland
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Rotches-Ribalta R.,University of Barcelona | Armengot L.,University of Barcelona | Mader P.,FiBL | Mayer J.,Agroscope | Sans F.X.,University of Barcelona
Weed Science | Year: 2017

The intensification of farming practices has reduced weed infestations, but it has also led to a reduction in weed diversity and changes in species composition. These effects are well described for aboveground flora; however, it is less clear how these effects might be expressed in the soil weed seedbank. We evaluated the effects of different long-term farm management strategies on the weed seedbank abundance, diversity, and community composition in the DOK (bioDynamic, bioOrganic, and Konventionell) field trial established in 1978 at Therwil, Switzerland. The trial compares biodynamic, organic, and conventional farming systems, which mainly differ in fertilization, weed control strategies, and pest control. The species richness and seed abundance of the weed seedbank were higher in the organic and biodynamic systems compared with the conventional ones. The different farming systems favored shifts in species assemblages, because specific management practices, such as herbicide application and type of fertilization, acted as filters that selected against certain species but promoted others that were more adapted. © Weed Science Society of America, 2016.

Acharid A.,Spectralys Innovation | Rizkallah J.,Spectralys Innovation | Ait-Ameur L.,Spectralys Innovation | Neugnot B.,Qualtech Systems, Inc. | And 4 more authors.
LWT - Food Science and Technology | Year: 2012

The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of using front face fluorescence (FFF) to monitor the impact of industrial process on carrot baby food, and to calibrate their content in neoformed compounds (NFC). Chromatographically measured NFC included furosine, carboxymethyllysine, and furan. The effect of using different raw material, fresh carrots, frozen cubes or pasteurized puree on NFC content in the resultant sterilized puree was also tested. Bidimensional FFF spectra acquired on the samples were decomposed using multiway PARAFAC model and used to predict the chromatographically measured NFC. FFF PARAFAC sample intensities systematically evolved with successive industrial process steps. The levels of NFC increased the most during heat treatment operations. Frozen cubes resulted in the purees with the lowest content in NFC, compared to fresh or pasteurized carrot cubes. Satisfactory calibration models (R 2 > 0.94) of the chromatographically measured NFC were obtained using FFF PARAFAC sample intensities as predictors. The multivariate regression models root mean square of cross validation for furosine, carboxymethyllysine, and furan were 3.98 mg/kg, 1.38 mg/kg and 5.23 μg/kg, respectively. From these first results we conclude that FFF is a promising tool to monitor fast and easily vegetable processing in a quality control approach. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Joergensen R.G.,University of Kassel | Mader P.,FiBL | Fliessbach A.,FiBL
Biology and Fertility of Soils | Year: 2010

Samples from the bio-dynamic, bio-organic, and conventional trial, Therwil, Switzerland, were analyzed with the aim of determining the effects of organic land use management on the energy metabolism of the soil microbial biomass and on the fraction of microbial residues. The contents of adenylates, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), glucosamine, muramic acid, and galactosamine were significantly largest in the biodynamic organic farming (BYODIN) treatment and significantly lowest in the conventional farming treatment with inorganic fertilization (CONMIN). In contrast, the ergosterol-to-ATP ratio and fungal C-to-bacterial C ratios were significantly lowest in the BYODIN treatment and significantly largest in the CONMIN treatment. No clear treatment effects were observed for the ergosterol content and the adenylate energy charge (AEC), the ATP-to-microbial biomass C ratio and the ergosterol-to-fungal C ratio. Ergosterol, an indicator for saprotrophic fungal biomass, and fungal residues were significantly correlated. The microbial biomass carbon-to-nitrogen ratio showed a negative relationship with the AEC and strong positive relationships with the ratios ergosterol-to-microbial biomass C, ergosterol-to-ATP and fungal C-to-bacterial C. In conclusion, the long-term application of farmyard manure in combination with organic farming practices led to an increased accumulation of bacterial residues. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.

Fuchs J.G.,FiBL | Fliessbach A.,FiBL | Mader P.,FiBL | Weibel F.P.,FiBL | And 3 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2014

To evaluate the influence of compost on soil fertility and plant growth, several medium term and long term field experiments with composts were conducted in different crops. In two maize experiments, one in a sandy and one in a loamy soil, the influence of different composts and digestates on soil parameters and plant growth were investigated. All products increased pH of the soil and improved the biological soil activity (e.g., enzymatic activities). Immature compost immobilized nitrogen and reduced plant growth. Organic nitrogen fertilizer added during cultivation, could compensate the growth depression. A full factorial experiment in a 2-years-old organic apple orchard was conducted from 2001-2007. The factors tested in all 9 possible combinations were: i) biowaste compost, ii) commercial organic N-fertilizer, iii) foliar N-fertilizer. In spring, the highest values for mineralized N (Nmin) in the tree strip were found in the treatment with commercial organic N-fertilizer, with addition of compost it was 75%, and biowaste compost alone reached 50% of this value on average, whereas unfertilized plots had the lowest but still sufficient values for the same tree performance and fruit nutrition as fertilized plots. In the DOK long-term field trial, three farming systems are compared since 1978: i) mineral and organic fertilisers, synthetic pesticides; ii) organic fertilisers, mechanical weeding and biological disease and pest control; and iii) composted manure and bio-dynamic preparations. A conventional system with mineral fertilisers only and an unfertilized treatment serve as controls. Soil fertility mirrored by soil biological parameters, soil biodiversity and soil organic matter are higher in the organic systems and render these systems less dependent from external inputs.

Fuchs J.G.,FiBL | Berner A.,FiBL | Mayer J.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | Schleiss K.,UMWEKO GmbH
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2014

Use of quality compost can have an important positive impact on soil fertility and plant growth and health. For example, it increases soil humus and improves soil structure and suppressivity towards plant diseases. To obtain these positive results, it is important that the compost quality is appropriate for each use. If used inadequately, the impact of compost can also be negative. The compost producer should be responsible for the quality of his products, and has to communicate the properties of his composts to the users. But to be successful, the compost users have to communicate to the producers the manner in which the compost is to be used. To support compost producers and users in this process, the Swiss producers of compost and digestate published a new quality guideline for compost and digestate in 2010. Five product classes are defined in this guideline: digestate liquid, digestate solid, compost for agricultural use, compost for horticultural use in the open field, and compost for covered cultures. The guideline requires compost producers to establish a quality concept, ranging from collection of green manure to utilization of the products. Public relation activities are then important to communicate this guideline. Communication between compost producers, compost users and other stakeholders is important to improve the potential of compost use and to develop further application possibilities.

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