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University of Surrey and Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl | Date: 2016-09-14

The invention relates to plant pathogenic infections, and to the treatment of oomycete pathogenic infections. The invention extends to novel antimicrobial compositions comprising inhibitors of oomycete pathogens, and their use in methods of treating or preventing infections with such pathogens, for example downy mildew of grapevine.

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.

Naspetti S.,Marche Polytechnic University | Lampkin N.,Organic Research Center | Nicolas P.,Aberystwyth University | Stolze M.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl | Zanoli R.,Marche Polytechnic University
Journal of Food Products Marketing | Year: 2011

This study aims at contributing to a better understanding of the linkage between supply chain performance and possible performance improvement with respect to food quality and safety. Therefore, the article addresses the question whether the level of collaborative planning and close supply chain relationships could help improve the quality and safety of organic supply chains. The study was conducted as part of the multi-disciplinary EU-wide survey of organic supply chains, carried out in eight European countries. In this article we report the results of the study regarding the structures and performance of six different organic supply chains in these eight European countries for: milk (CH, UK), apples (DE, CH), pork (UK, NL), eggs (DE, UK), wheat (HU, IT, FR) and tomatoes (IT, NL). In-depth interviews with key-informants were carried out in 2006 to investigate the structures, performance, and relationships within the supply chains. Results show a low level of collaboration among various actors especially in cost and benefit sharing. Highly integrated supply chains show higher collaboration especially in the domain of Decision Synchronization. Trust and collaboration appear to be related with increased performance, whereas the higher the perceived risk for quality and safety, the higher the probability of supply chain collaboration. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Bai M.,Justus Liebig University | Kostler M.,Justus Liebig University | Kunstmann J.,Geohumus International GmbH | Wilske B.,Justus Liebig University | And 5 more authors.
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry | Year: 2011

A system was developed for the automatic measurements of 13CO2 efflux to determine biodegradation of extra carbon amendments to soils. The system combines wavelength-scanned cavity ring down laser spectroscopy (WS-CRDS) with the open-dynamic chamber (ODC) method. The WS-CRDS instrument and a batch of 24 ODC are coupled via microprocessor- controlled valves. Determination of the biodegradation requires a known δ13C value and the applied mass of the carbon compounds, and the biodegradation is calculated based on the 13CO2 mixing ratio (ppm) sampled from the headspace of the chambers. The WS-CRDS system provided accurate detection based on parallel samples of three standard gases (13CO2 of 2, 11 and 22 ppm) that were measured simultaneously by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (linear regression R2 = 0.99). Repeated checking with the same standards showed that the WS-CRDS system showed no drift over seven months. The applicability of the ODC was checked against the closed static chamber (CSC) method using the rapid biodegradation of cane sugar - δ13C-labeled through C4 photosynthesis. There was no significant difference between the results from 7-min ODC and 120-min CSC measurements. Further, a test using samples of either cane sugar (C4) or beetroot sugar (C3)mixed into standard soil proved the target functionality of the system, which is to identify the biodegradation of carbon sources with significantly different isotopic signatures. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Gunst L.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | Richner W.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon | Mader P.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl | Mayer J.,ART Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2013

The nutrient supply of winter wheat was one of the topics investigated by the DOC long-term system comparison from 1978 to 2003. The aim of this trial is to provide evidence of nutrient-related yield limitations in organic farming systems. Substantial differences in yield between organic and conventional farming systems and different fertilisation intensities were primarily attributed to the delivery of nutrients - in particular, nitrogen - to the plants. Because the soil phosphorus supply was adequate in all DOC systems over the entire trial period, phosphorus was ruled out as a co-limiting factor. The plant analyses of straw and grain exhibited high figures and a low differentiation for phosphorus, thus confirming the soil findings. By contrast, potassium was identified along with nitrogen as a co-limiting factor in the organic systems at the low fertilisation intensity and in the unfertilised control. This was indicated by the differentiation of potassium content in the above-ground biomass and the available soil potassium content. Despite this, both the bio-dynamic and bio-organic system exhibited a balanced potassium supply at the high fertilisation intensity. Both bio-systems may therefore be considered sustainable at this fertilisation intensity.

This study investigated differences between phenotypes of daughters of artificial insemination (AI)-bulls and daughters of natural service (NS)-bulls, respectively, on organic dairy farms in Switzerland. Organic rules recommend the use of natural mating. Therefore it is of interest whether those two groups of phenotypes show different characteristics on organic farms. Only farms using both AI and NS with sires of the same dairy breed as the inseminated cows were included in the study. First lactations of 594 cows from 29 farms were analysed. Dairy cows descending from NS-bulls showed lower somatic cell scores (SCS), a tendency to shorter calving intervals (CI), and a tendency to lower daily milk yields (DMY) compared to cows descending from AI-bulls. No effects of service method on other analysed health parameters were found. Around 70% of NS-bulls and 26% of AI-bulls had been bred in the same regions as their daughters. 1.8% of AI-bulls and 30.8% of NS-bulls had been bred on an organic farm. One explanation for the effects found in cows descending from NS-bulls might lie in their better adaptation to local conditions. However, effects of the service method and the bull’s environment of origin cannot be distinguished and it cannot be excluded that the chosen NS-bulls incidentally had higher genetic merits for CI and SCS than AI-bulls. © 2016, A M T R A - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All rights reserved.

Notz C.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl | Hassig M.,University of Zürich
Schweizer Archiv fur Tierheilkunde | Year: 2013

The present study examines the efficacy of a homeopathic dry cow prophylaxis in a randomized, placebo controlled case-control field trial. The study was conducted in 24 Brown Swiss farms in the Engadine (Swiss mountain region). The effect of the used homeopathic substances were combined with antibiotics in justified cases. At drying off and in the 3rd and 5th week of lactation the udders were clinically examined and quarter milk samples were taken for bacteriological and cytological analysis. In addition, milk recording data of the first 6 milk testing were included in the evaluations. The used homeopathic prophylaxis at drying off did not show any effect in the incidence of dry cow mastitis and mastitis in the first 120 days of lactation. However, at day 21 post partum significantly fewer animals in the verum group showed a bacteriological finding of a major pathogen, but more animals in this group suffered from a secretion disorder. It has been shown that at the 6th milk test pp significantly more animals of the verum group had a somatic cell count below 100'000 cells/ml than the control group. © 2013 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern.

Jahrl I.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl | Rudmann C.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl | Pfiffner L.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl | Balmer O.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2012

Swiss agricultural policy is guided by the goal of improving the ecological services provided by farms through direct payments for ecological compensation areas (ECAs), but evaluation programs have shown that financial incentives alone do not guarantee the implementation of ECAs. We investigated, by means of structured interviews with conventional, integrated production, and organic farmers, which role economic, ecological and social motivations play in the decisions by Swiss lowland farmers to implement ECAs. The results show that ECAs are primarily implemented if they are perceived by farmers to be conservation relevant and if they are easily integrated into the farm's workflow. Financial aspects were found to play a more important role than ecological aspects for conventional farmers, while organic and integrated production farmers were found to be more ecologically oriented with organic farmers showing the highest ecological motivation. However, only a weak correlation between motivation and the quantity and quality of ECAs was found. To efficiently increase ECAs, more emphasis should be placed on communicating the benefits of specific measures and on developing instruments that make the farmers' accomplishments apparent and increase their appreciation by farmers and consumers.

Lichtsteiner S.,University of Basel | Oehen B.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2015

In many countries of the northern hemisphere, populations of honey bees and other pollinating insects have been in decline for some years. The causes of this decline have not yet fully been clarified. There are, however, strong indications that intensive agriculture can impact pollinators negatively. Many agricultural activities affect pollinating insects and thus affect the work of beekeepers. Farmers, for their part, depend on the ecosystem service of pollination. Although numerous studies on the health status of honey bees are now available, Switzerland’s beekeepers and farmers have never been asked how they perceive the associated problems and how they view approaches to solving these problems. These issues were explored in a qualitative survey. Results showed that the surveyed farmers generally know little about the problems related to honey bees. Among the beekeepers, perceptions of problems and views concerning solution-oriented approaches are very diverse. Although many beekeepers report negative experiences with agricultural activities, their general attitude towards agriculture is positive. In their view, most problems arise from diseases and parasites of bees, and from the ways that individual beekeepers manage their hives. More care than in the past should be taken to maintain this good relationship between farmers and beekeepers, as the mutual dependence is large. © 2015, AMTRA - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All rights reserved.

Luka H.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl | Barloggio G.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl | Barloggio G.,University of Basel | Pfiffner L.,Forschungsinstitut For Biologischen Landbau Fibl
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2016

Multi-year studies of the model system ‘cabbage’, the pest ‘cabbage moth’ and the latter’s egg and larval parasitoids (beneficials) demonstrate how pests can be controlled in vegetable production with the help of tailored biodiversity areas. Beneficials were encouraged by means of flower strips on field margins and companion plants within the field. Suitable plants for the flower strips were selected on the basis of the scientific literature and in-house laboratory experiments, and tested in field trials. In laboratory trials, the provision of buckwheat, cornflowers or common vetch extended the lifespan of the cabbage-moth parasitoids by 43% to 85%. Parasitisation of the cabbage-moth larvae increased three- to six-fold over that of the control. In the field trials, flower strips increased the parasitisation of cabbagemoth eggs twofold in one of two years. Used as a companion plant in the cabbage field, cornflowers increased predation on cabbage-moth eggs by 8% to 95% and the parasitism of the larvae by 35% to 68%. The species diversity of broadly effective groups of beneficials (ground beetles, short-winged beetles and spiders) increased by an average of 46% in the flower strips. In one of two years, cabbage heads grown with companion plants were 18% heavier than those grown without cornflowers, and had 41% fewer leaves with feeding damages. © 2016, A M T R A - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique, All rights reserved.

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