Organic arable farming is very demanding. That is why we continue to develop it together with practitioners and incorporate innovative approaches into research as quickly as possible. We maintain eleven national practice networks on various arable farming topics, in which we conduct trials in collaboration with farmers. We also provide advisory services for organic farmers on all aspects of organic farming.
Our main areas of work:
- In tillage, we look for alternatives to ploughing. These alternatives range from reduced tillage to direct seeding and rotary band seeding. A particular focus is on weed control.
- In the field of weed control, we test state-of-the-art hoeing equipment and weeding robots with automatic control systems.
- Winter wheat is the most important crop. In addition to yield, the high quality requirements of the baking industry also play a major role here. These requirements are only met with the best varieties. This is why we conduct variety trials every year in cooperation with Agroscope Changins.
- Domestic production of grain legumes reduces dependence on imported soy. We are currently testing new soya and lupine varieties for cultivation under Swiss conditions. Over the past ten years, we have developed mixed cultivation of protein peas and field beans. Thanks to mixed crops, their cultivation has increased many times over.
- The biggest challenges in organic farming are pests in oilseed rape, weeds in sugar beet and late blight in potatoes. We are working to solve these problems with suitable cropping techniques and variety selection.
- We are further developing direct marketing and niche production for various arable crops.