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According to Direct Payment regulations, Swiss farmers are obliged to take into account economic damage thresholds and the recommendations of forecasting and warning services before taking phytosanitary measures. In order to assess how well these requirements were being fulfilled in arable farming, farmers and agricultural contractors were anonymously surveyed in 2013-2014. Out of 477 returned questionnaires, 456 were evaluated. The results showed that control thresholds for weeds and grasses were only considered to a limited extent. Lack of time and a known weed infestation were given as reasons for this. Control thresholds were better respected in the treatment of disease. Most commonly, the control threshold was applied in treating leaf spot in sugar beets. Eighty-one per cent of farmers stated that they always or often used the control threshold for leaf spot. Least attention was paid to the control threshold in the treatment of Rhizoctonia in potatoes: 47% of respondents never or rarely used the threshold. The control thresholds were most often used when treating pests, especially pests with a high potential for causing damage, and for which the control threshold could be monitored easily and precisely, with little time expenditure. This was the case with pollen beetle: 92.6% of respondents stated that they always or often applied the threshold. The existing forecasting systems such as Phytopre and Fusaprog were unknown to many farmers and therefore not used. The warning services, on the other hand, were used by many farmers: 87% said that they always or often used the warning services in the trade press. The cantonal advisory services were also valued as a source of information. The study shows the areas in which there is still additional potential for reducing risks caused by the use of pesticides. © 2016, AMTRA - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All Rights Reserved. Source


Gibberella and fusarium ear rot of maize reduce grain yield qualitatively and quantitatively. Mycotoxins produced by the fungal pathogens that are responsible of these two diseases are a health threat for the animals fed with contaminated maize. One factor affecting disease severity and mycotoxin content, and therefore a potential management tool, is the susceptibility of the cultivated variety. This study aimed at establishing a methodology to evaluate this resistance level and then use is to test grain maize hybrids grown in Switzerland. A method using artificial inoculation of the ears at female flowering during at least three experimental years allowed to identify very susceptible, less susceptible and intermediate varieties. This ranking is a tool that maize growers may use while choosing a variety to manage the risk of Gibberella ear rot and of mycotoxin contamination. © 2016, AMTRA - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All Rights Reserved. Source


Bohren C.,Institute For Pflanzenbauwissenschaften Ipb | Wirth J.,Institute For Pflanzenbauwissenschaften Ipb
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2015

According to a survey conducted in 26 countries, yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.) belongs to the most dangerous weeds in Europe due to its high reproductive capability, its weediness (local abundance) and low success of control. Unintentional spread of tubers from field to field by machinery and crop waste is an important element of the invasion. Visible plants in a field weakly indicate the real rate of infestation. A single treatment with a sustainable control effect does not exist. In field trials, we tested the efficacy of different herbicides. Herbicides alone are not enough for a good nutsedge control in most of vegetable and field crops. Highly effective herbicides are selective in a few crops only. Incorporation of herbicides after application can support their effect. Repeated soil cultivation during the period of tuber formation (May to July) as well as competition by fast-growing dense (cover) crop stands (from July onwards) can reduce the number of tubers in the soil. Our results show clearly that successful measures for the reduction of tuber numbers can quickly be wiped out by subsequent ineffective control strategies. © 2015, A M T R A - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All rights reserved. Source


Frei P.,Institute For Pflanzenbauwissenschaften Ipb | Gindro K.,Institute For Pflanzenbauwissenschaften Ipb
Agrarforschung Schweiz | Year: 2015

Leaf spot constitutes a threat to barley cultivation, leading to significant quantitative and qualitative yield losses. Although these symptoms can be due to physiological stress, they are primarily caused by infestation with the Ramularia collo-cygni fungus. In the absence of sporulation, these two types of leaf necrosis are practically impossible to tell apart. In order to control the pathogen Ramularia collo-cygni, Agroscope has launched a major study to learn more about its biology. The fungus was monitored by molecular analysis from the earliest stages of cultivation, allowing us to ascertain that it can be transmitted by seed. New forms of transmission of the disease have also been discovered whose roles in the epidemiology and survival of the fungus have yet to be determined. Fungicide trials have been conducted with different application strategies. These have shown that, in the absence of other leaf diseases in the crop, a single treatment from the BBCH 37 (flag-leaf) stage onwards is sufficient for the effective control of barley leaf spot. © 2015, A M T R A - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All rights reserved. Source


Certain types of bread products require a high protein content and well-defined rheological qualities. Although Swiss wheat varieties have a high protein content, said content fluctuates a great deal, and in some years is too low for breadmaking. From 2011 to 2013, a study was carried out on four varieties of wheat and seven nitrogen fertiliser application methods. The aim was on the one hand to analyse the influence of the nitrogen fertiliser (dose and splitting of application) on protein levels, and on the other to examine the relationship between the protein levels of the varieties and their rheological and baking qualities. The splitting of nitrogenous fertiliser applications into three rather than two doses not only significantly increases wet gluten content, but also substantially improves qualitative properties. A 20-40-80 kg N/ha split with a final dose when the flag-leaf appears is ideal for increasing wet gluten content without affecting either rheological quality or yield. This split can be recommended when cultivating ‘Top’ class varieties. The results also show that an increase in protein content does not necessarily improve gluten quality, since several parameters stagnate or decrease when nitrogen fertilisation is intensified. This observation can be explained by the stagnation in the proportion of glutenins, as well as by a decrease in gliadins in favour of albumins and globulins. No matter what nitrogenous fertilisation method is used, the variety ‘Runal’ always achieves the best protein levels. Despite its lower protein content, the variety ‘CH Claro’ obtains equivalent results to Runal in the rheological and baking tests. © 2016, AMTRA - Association pour la Mise en Valeur des Travaux de la Recherche Agronomique. All Rights Reserved. Source

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