Agroscope   link
Location: Bern
Schwarzenburgstrasse 161, 3097 Liebefeld

Discipline: Agronomy/Food Science
Affiliation: Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Agroscope, the Swiss federal research institute for the agri-food sector, is undergoing a reorganisation. Since 1 January 2014, Agroscope will run four institutes:

  • Institute for Plant Production Sciences
  • Institute for Sustainability Sciences
  • Institute for Livestock Sciences
  • Institute for Food Sciences
Agroscope is affiliated with the Federal Office for Agriculture. The strategic orientation of Agroscope is now determined by the new Agroscope Council. The key tasks remain the same, but have been more clearly defined: (1) Research and development for the agri-food sector; (2) Policy advice for government agencies; and (3) Enforcement tasks in accordance with statutory provisions. These three primary functions enable numerous synergies, and position Agroscope as a bridge-builder between basic and applied research.

Since 2014 onwards, Agroscope’s research will be based on the following six thematic priorities representing the challenges currently faced by the agri-food sector: (1) Ecological intensification; (2) Safeguarding natural resources; (3) Challenge of climate change; (4) High-quality food; (5) Improved competitiveness; (6) Vital and attractive rural areas.


Agronomy - Feb 11
Swiss milk producers can boost their income and productivity with agrotourism. By contrast, the productivity of direct marketers is considerably lower. These were the findings of a research project conducted by Agroscope and an external partner.
Environment - Agronomy - Jan 7

Soils possess great potential for sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere in the form of carbon, and thus for mitigating global warming. Agroscope researchers have now shown that in extensive cultivation systems, significantly more carbon enters the soil via plant roots than previously assumed. Based on these findings, the estimated values for the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory were adjusted.

Environment - Agronomy - Nov 5, 2020
Environment - Agronomy

Harnessing the forces of nature and agricultural practice in all its variety - that is diversification. Diversification brings benefits - positive impacts on yields and environmental protection. This is the conclusion of an international study in which Agroscope researchers took part, and which was recently published Advances.

Environment - Agronomy - Jul 3, 2020

In an in-depth study, Agroscope analysed the possible environmental impacts of implementing the Drinking-Water Initiative. The life-cycle assessment shows that pesticide and nutrient pollution of Swiss water bodies and groundwater could be reduced. In addition, inland biodiversity could be improved slightly. Overall, however, rising food imports would lead to increased environmental pollution.

Life Sciences - Environment - Apr 21, 2020
Life Sciences - Environment

To control pests without pesticides, genetically modified organisms of the same species could be used. The latter carry a gene that is passed on with above-average frequency via sexual reproduction. This gene possesses traits that directly weaken the pest, or prevent pathogens from being transmitted. But how can the environmental impact of such gene-drive elements be recorded and assessed? Experts from Agroscope have authored a concept study on this topic.

Life Sciences - Environment - Nov 11, 2019
Life Sciences - Environment

Our soils filter drinking water and produces food. Soils only carry out these services, because they harbour thousands fungal and bacteria species which work together like the wheels in a clock mechanism. These are the conclusions reached by a study published in the renowned by researchers from Agroscope and the University of Zurich. To summarise their findings: the more species-rich the microbial community, the more ecosystem functions remain intact, which in turn has a positive impact on agriculture.

Health - Agronomy - Nov 10, 2020
Health - Agronomy

Seed treatments aim to protect germinating crops from diseases. In collaboration with the agricultural cooperative fenaco, Agroscope examined thermal methods using steam and warm water, among others, for the treatment of cereal seed. The results demonstrate the great potential of these methods.

Environment - Sep 9, 2020

Lutz Merbold will be heading the 'Agroecology and Environment' Strategic Research Division at Agroscope from 1 October 2020. Currently a Research Group Leader at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya, he brings his solid knowledge of sustainable agroecosystems to Agroscope. Lutz Merbold takes over from Robert Baur, who has decided to continue his career at Agroscope in the 'Strategy and Corporate Development' Division.

Agronomy - May 26, 2020

What stresses wild bees? Is it certain plant-protection products, the absence of nutrient-rich foods - or a combination of both factors? Together with research partners throughout Europe, Agroscope is investigating these issues.

Life Sciences - Jan 16, 2020
Life Sciences

The Biosafety Research Group at Agroscope has conducted a review of the literature on genetically modified plants that produce several insect-active Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins simultaneously. The experts were able to show that the toxins did not pose an increased risk for non-target organisms such as beneficials.

Agronomy - Life Sciences - Nov 8, 2019

Dr. Joël Bérard will be taking the reins of the 'Animal Production Systems and Animal Health' Strategic Research Division at Agroscope. In this capacity he will become a member of the Executive Board. Currently Head of Research at AgroVet-Strickhof, Bérard will be joining Agroscope on 1 April 2020.

Website Preview