CH-3.4 :: Agricultural land management

Relevance of the issue and justification of the need for research:
Agricultural land management has a major influence on soil quality. Research is needed on this subject to preserve the quality of agricultural soils in the long term. However, new land management methods only develop their positive effect when they are actually applied. Thus, research on the farmers’ acceptance of land management methods is also needed.
Specific research topics and knowledge gaps:
Land management
• Land management methods to promote soil biodiversity: Find land management methods that promote soil biodiversity.
• Biological plant protection: Find herbal active ingredients that can be used in organic agriculture for plant protection.
• Bio control methods: Find bio control methods (living organisms - e.g. bacteria - or combinations of living organisms) for land management, yield increase and plant protection.
• Acceptance of bio control methods: Show how bio control methods have to be designed, that farmers actually use them. Show how these methods can be produced and applied cost-efficiently.
• Land management methods to enhance the soil structure and stability: Determine land management methods that enhance the stability of the soil, while maintaining productivity and the soil functions with minimal use of chemicals (research on non-tillage farming, fertilisation and application of organic matter). Identify measures that optimally stabilise the soil under specific local conditions.
• Prevent soil compaction through vehicle selection: Improve tractor tyres and wheels so that they do not compact the soil. Refine tools such as Terranimo (see documents).
• Land management methods to ensure protection from the effects of climate change: Identify and develop land management methods to protect the soils and lakes in Switzerland from the effects of climate change (e.g. increased erosion).
• Land management methods to counteract climate change by carbon-sequestration: Identify and develop land management methods that sequestrate carbon into the soil.
• Website ""Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource"", National Research Programme NRP 68 (running): e.g. Prof. Théodor Turlings, Fighting harmful soil organisms with nematodes and soil bacteria (Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), 2015a)
• Website Online-Tool Terranimo: (Hochschule für Agrar- Forst- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften (HAFL); Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon (ART) et al.)
• IPPC-Reports

• University/research institute, national/regional/local authority, others, workshop participants