Discipline: Agronomy/Food Science
Affiliation: Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research
- Swiss National Stud Farm SNSTF
- Agroscope Wädenswil
- Agroscope Tänikon
- Agroscope Reckenholz
- Agroscope Posieux
- Agroscope Liebefeld
- Agroscope Changins
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zurich-Reckenholz, 24.09.2019 - Increasing mechanisation in agriculture has two sides: on the one hand, it makes many field operations easier for farmers. On the other hand, more power and performance also mean larger and heavier agricultural vehicles.
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.
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.
Dr. JoÃ«l 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.
Every day, we choose the food we eat and influence our health, whether consciously or not. This link between diet and health is a core concern of nutritional scientists, who met in Bern from 7 to 12 September 2019 for the 16th annual conference of the NuGO nutrigenomics association. A satellite workshop brought together diet and nutrition experts to discuss the current challenges facing nutritional research in Switzerland.
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