Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh

Zürich, Switzerland

Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh

Zürich, Switzerland
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Lips M.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh | Hoop D.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2015

Factors for calculating standard labour units (SLUs) are derived from cost/ performance calculations for paraagricultural activities found in business- management literature. The SLU factors specify the necessary labour input per CHF 10 000 of volume of sales or turnover, with three activity categories being distinguished. Leisure time and educational activities on the farm are highly labour-intensive, and can be described with the factor 0.15 SLU per CHF 10 000 gross output. Agritourism activities such as catering and the provision of overnight accommodation, as well as the provision of wood fuel and the boarding of horses constitute the second category, with a factor of 0.06. Practised by many farms, the third category of direct marketing and wage labour has an SLU factor of 0.03. © 2015, A M T R A - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All rights reserved.


Gotze F.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh | Ferjani A.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2014

Over the past years, the Swiss market for organic foods has grown considerably. However, little is known about the factors that motivate consumers to purchase organic food products. Within the framework of this analysis, data from Swiss households on the consumption of organic foods were analysed descriptively and econometrically. The evaluation of these household data confirmed the growing trend for organic foods in general and for the nine product groups under consideration, namely Bread and Grain Products; Meat; Fish; Dairy Products and Eggs; Edible Fats and Oils; Fruit; Vegetables; Sugar and Confectionery; and Condiments and Sauces. The most popular organic products were vegetables, dairy products and eggs, and fruit, with the consumption of organic vegetables showing the strongest growth. The econometric analysis showed that the sociodemographic structure of the households influenced the decision to buy organic foods. As income increased, so did the likelihood that these households would purchase organic products. The age of the reference person of the household and the presence of children also played a role, with childless households being more likely to buy organic foods than those with children. © 2014, Agrarforschung Schweiz. All rights reserved.


Maurer C.,Fachstelle Bodenschutz des Kantons Bern | Rudy M.,Fachstelle Bodenschutz des Kantons Bern | Chervet A.,Fachstelle Bodenschutz des Kantons Bern | Sturny W.G.,Fachstelle Bodenschutz des Kantons Bern | And 2 more authors.
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2014

Since 1994, a comparison of no-till and conventional tillage systems has been underway on the Oberacker long-term field trial site at the Inforama Rütti education and extension centre in Zollikofen, Berne canton. The present paper investigates the influence of the two cropping systems and various field crops, including catch crop mixtures, on the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM fungi). For this, fungal spores were isolated and morphologically classified. Around two-thirds of the 39 species identified were present in both cropping systems. All crops were found to have greater biodiversity and greater diversity according to the Shannon-Weaver index in the no-till system (15–21 species and H = 2.12–2.86, respectively) than in the conventional tillage system (10–17 species and H = 1.77–2.56, respectively). Winter cereals tended to harbour a lower number of species than did a catch crop mixture which was grown. The characteristic species for the long-term no-till system is Septoglomus constrictum, whilst Funneliformis caledonius is the characteristic species for the plots under conventional tillage. Encouraging specific mycorrhizal fungal communities could make a substantial contribution towards an efficient and effective no-till system. © 2014, AMTRA - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All right reserved.


Steiner B.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh | Keck M.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2015

Generally speaking, cattle sheds are naturally ventilated buildings. Because of this, the situation is different on both the emission and impact sides than for animal housing with forced ventilation. This paper highlights methods contributing to the clarification of odour complaints. Using a case study, a process is explained with an analysis of the nuisance and site situation, the husbandry method and the management strategy. The emission situation is characterised by the individual sources in the categories «housing», «feed store» and «farmyard manure store», in combination with the operating approach. Of importance in terms of the residents’ perception of odour are the specific site, meteorological aspects, and additional emitters. In planning processes, particular care in the siting of animal housing systems is advisable owing to the potential impact on residents. To date, and where already existing sites, extended diffuse sources, natural ventilation, and – in particular – constellations with cold-air outflows are concerned, the starting points for odour reduction have been few in number. In the case of individual complaints, as holistic a methodological approach as possible helps us to take the odour complaints seriously and arrive at situation-appropriate solutions that are as amicable as possible. © 2015 A M T R A - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All rights reserved.


Mann S.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh | Erdin D.,Schweizerischer Bauernverband
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2015

The difference between quality grades and quality labels is that the latter are awarded on the basis of production processes, whilst the former are conferred on the strength of the actual production results. In the course of a de-ideologisation of society, it might be assumed that the price differences between quality grades would grow larger and larger, while those between quality labels would tend to shrink. Regressions for the calf market on the one hand and for 4180 cattle-market datasets on the other largely confirm this pattern between 2000 and 2014. In the period under consideration, a price spread occurs between the individual grades of the CH-TAX system, whilst the surcharge for organic products shrinks. No price discrimination is identified a priori for ‘Terrasuisse’ and ‘QM’ labels. © 2015, A M T R A - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All rights reserved.


Holzkamper A.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh | Agroscope J.F.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2015

The premise that global warming changes the conditions for crop production was investigated throughout Switzerland on the basis of a climate suitability for grain maize cultivation. Gridded projections1 of temperature changes for three time periods (2020-49, 2045-74, 2070-99) available from twenty climate-model chains for the A2 emissions scenario (i.e. the «business as usual» scenario) were used. It was found that with climate warming, the suitable production area increases at higher altitudes but decreases at lower altitudes in the longer term. In a second part of the study, we investigated the influence of individual climatic factors on climate suitability using combined temperature and precipitation scenarios from ten model chains for the Zurich-Reckenholz and Changins sites. Results suggest that heat stress and accelerated plant development are increasingly limiting climate suitability at both sites, whilst water shortage during maturation is only increasing significantly at the Changins site in western Switzerland. The shortening of growth phases also plays a role here, since the temporal shift in crop development can reduce the risk of drought stress if drought-sensitive phenological periods are shifted away from periods of most intense stress. Despite uncertainties with regard to long-term climate change, the results of this study can provide advice for the planning of possible climate change adaptation measures (i.e. future cultivar choice, shifts in production areas). © 2015, A M T R A - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All rights reserved.


In the last few years, and since the abolition of the minimum exchange rate by the Swiss National Bank in January 2015, the Swiss franc has appreciated strongly against all currencies of Switzerland’s most important trading partners. With the help of empirical models, we analyse how strongly aggregate exports of the agri-food sector react to an appreciation of the Swiss franc. According to our analysis, a one-time appreciation of 1 % leads on average to a temporary decline in exports of approx. 0.8 % after four quarters. This lagged effect could be the result of long-term contracts and inert consumption habits. By contrast, a sustained appreciation in which the Swiss franc appreciates by 1 % each quarter leads on average to a permanent decrease in exports of approx. 0.9 % per quarter. The estimated exchange rate effects for agri-food exports are therefore of the same order of magnitude as those for aggregate Swiss exports. Hence, agri-food sector exports also prove remarkably resilient to exchange rate fluctuations. The reason for this may be that businesses in this sector are also able to successfully differentiate their products on the basis of quality, and hence are able – at least in part – to avoid price competition abroad. © 2015, A M T R A - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All rights reserved.


Zorn A.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh | Lips M.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2016

The profitability of growing grain legumes in Switzerland is of interest when discussing the importation of feed. Cost/performance calculations on a full-cost basis for soya, field beans, protein peas and lupins yield a realised hourly rate or work monetisation of at least CHF 37.–, assuming efficient management on three-hectare plots. This work monetisation is comparable to that of wheat, and significantly better than for feed barley. Converted to kilograms of crude protein, the aforementioned four crops notched up production costs of between CHF 1.10 and CHF 1.40. Although the costs of processing steps are not borne in mind in this calculation, domestic production of protein can compete with imported de-oiled soya meal. Qualitative differences such as protein digestibility and availability were not taken into account in this study. © 2016, A M T R A - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique, All rights reserved.


Fuhrer J.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh | Calanca P.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2014

As the climate changes, the water requirement of agricultural crops tends to increase. This leads to a higher irrigation requirement. At the same time, water availability falls, since water levels in many catchment areas of the Swiss Central Plateau decline in the summer. In order to identify areas with an increased risk of water shortage, a hydrological model was used to calculate the ratio of the potential irrigation requirement to the available supply (regional outflow) for 39 catchment areas during the period 1981-2010. The results show that in years with extreme climatic events such as 2003, the available supply in individual regions is already insufficient. Climate change causes this situation to intensify, leading in many cases to water shortages, as shown by modeling for selected areas based on two climate scenarios for the period 2036-2065. In the catchment areas of Glatt-Töss, Birs and Broye-Mentue, the frequency of water-shortage years rises many times in the event of dramatic climate change. In these areas, there is a demand for measures for appropriate water management which take account of the protection of waters as well as the demands of agriculture.


Lips M.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh | Gazzarin C.,Institute For Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaften Inh
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2016

The article contains a suggestion for examining planned investments in terms of their profitability (an ex ante evaluation). Since for the average Swiss farm the remuneration of family labour is far more important than the remuneration of equity capital, interest is primarily focused on the change in either labour utilisation per hour or the actually realised hourly wage. This is determined in each case with a calculation before and after the investment, which requires a cost/ performance calculation on a full-cost basis in both cases. The approach is illustrated by means of an average commercial dairy farm that is converting its tied-housing system into loose housing, increasing its capacity by seven places to a total of 30 cow places in the process. Assuming full utilisation and a constant milk price, the investment enables an increase in labour utilisation of around CHF 4 per hour to be attained. © 2016, AMTRA - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All Rights Reserved.

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