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Wheat production: Heat wave in India exacerbates global supply situation
Media

Wheat production: Heat wave in India exacerbates global supply situation

South Asia is currently being hit by an exceptional heat wave. This is threatening the harvests of many farmers. India is the second largest producer of wheat in the world. This is likely to exacerbate the already tense situation on the agricultural markets caused by the war in Ukraine.

Artificial fertilizer is becoming scarce
Media

Artificial fertilizer is becoming scarce

The Russian war on Ukraine is having a devastating impact on global agriculture. The two countries produce large quantities of wheat for the world market. Russia is also one of the most important producers of fertilizers. These are now threatening to become scarce.

«We’re already in the middle of a grain supply crisis»
Media

«We’re already in the middle of a grain supply crisis»

Werner Baumann has led the German agrochemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer since 2016. In an interview with the "NZZ", he explains what the Ukraine war means for his company and the food supply.

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The United Kingdom paves the way for the cultivation of genome-edited plants
Media

The United Kingdom paves the way for the cultivation of genome-edited plants

The British Parliament has passed a law that facilitates the cultivation of genome-edited plants.

Switzerland needs to import more bread grain
Media

Switzerland needs to import more bread grain

The industry organisation Swiss Granum has applied to the Federal Government for an increase in the import quota for bread grain. Last year's domestic crop yields and stocks are not sufficient to meet this year's demand.

Feed additive against global warming
Media

Feed additive against global warming

The methane emissions of farm animals contribute significantly to global warming. DSM is now bringing to market a feed additive that significantly reduces methane emissions from cows.

War in Ukraine threatens sowing
Media

War in Ukraine threatens sowing

Anyone who wants to harvest must sow. But the war in Ukraine threatens the sowing of important crops and jeopardizes the global food supply.

The conflict in Ukraine forces us to look beyond our own borders
Media

The conflict in Ukraine forces us to look beyond our own borders

The war between Ukraine and Russia threatens the food supply of many countries and is expected to have a strong impact on food prices. Markus Ritter, president of the Swiss farmers' Association, therefore calls for more domestic production – not least out of solidarity with poorer countries.

Sustainable intensification for a resilient food system
Media

Sustainable intensification for a resilient food system

In a position paper, the German FDP calls for a reorientation of European agricultural policy. Instead of an extensification of agriculture, an “ecological intensification” should take place.

Plant charcoal for soil and climate
Media

Plant charcoal for soil and climate

Farmers in Zug produce coal from plant waste to fertilize their soils and extract carbon from the atmosphere. They recently received the Federal Energy Award Watt d'or for their pioneering work. We congratulate them.

Urban beekeeping is endangering biodiversity
Media

Urban beekeeping is endangering biodiversity

Beekeeping is booming in Swiss cities. Urban residents want to make a contribution to the conservation of the honeybee. However, a study by the WSL research institute shows that the amateur beekeeping is not sustainable. It endangers biodiversity in cities, as honey bees increasingly displace wild insects.

The wind in the genetic debate is turning
Media

The wind in the genetic debate is turning

Politics and business are increasingly opening up to new breeding methods such as genome editing. Until recently, this would have been unthinkable. The change of opinion has to do with the voices from science, which are now slowly becoming heard.

Five myths about pesticides
Media

Five myths about pesticides

The Austrian "Kronen Zeitung" clears up five myths about the use of pesticides in agriculture. With regard to toxicity, what the doctor Paracelsus knew still applies today: The dose makes the poison.

Poor potato harvest in 2021 leads to imports
Media

Poor potato harvest in 2021 leads to imports

The 2021 potato harvest looks poor. The miserable weather affected the tubers and led to large harvest and quality losses in some cases. This also affects the production of chips and french fries. In addition, more potatoes are being imported.

French winegrowers plead for new breeding methods
Media

French winegrowers plead for new breeding methods

In order to be able to provide traditional grape varieties with resistance to mildew and drought, French winemakers are calling for approval of genome editing in viticulture. Instead of breeding new varieties in lengthy processes, Gene Scissors can be used to optimize wine varieties that are popular with consumers.

Meat alternatives still too expensive
Media

Meat alternatives still too expensive

Meat substitutes are being prominently advertised during "Veganuary". However, these are often much more expensive in the store than the original products made of real meat.

Nobel laureate endorses genetic scissors in plant breeding
Media

Nobel laureate endorses genetic scissors in plant breeding

In an opinion piece in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Nobel laureate Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard argues the case for using the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in plant breeding, even in organic farming. In her view, genome editing brings numerous benefits, especially when it comes to nature conservation and species protection.

Less honey - rising prices
Media

Less honey - rising prices

The cold spring and wet summer had a massive impact on bees and honey production. Compared to last year, harvest volumes have really collapsed this year. Swiss honey is becoming a scarce commodity and prices are likely to rise.

Content in German

Many groceries are becoming more expensive
Media

Many groceries are becoming more expensive

The meagre harvests of last summer will have an effect well into the new year. Rising raw material prices are leading to sometimes significant price increases in stores. Dairy and wheat products such as bread and pasta are particularly affected.

Swiss carrots and onions are in short supply
Media

Swiss carrots and onions are in short supply

Switzerland is in danger of running out of home-grown baby carrots and onions by the spring. This is due to the poor weather conditions last summer. It was not possible to begin sowing storage vegetables until far too late. Stocks are running low.

Vegetarian products have a bad reputation among consumers
Media

Vegetarian products have a bad reputation among consumers

Many consumers are of the opinion that vegetarian products are unhealthier and more harmful to the environment than meat. This is shown by a study by ETH Zurich. The negative attitude is also reflected in purchases. Vegetarian products are still niche products.

Price more important for consumers than sustainability label
Media

Price more important for consumers than sustainability label

When buying food, Swiss consumers pay more attention to the price than to sustainability labels. One reason for this might be that many are not aware of what the labels mean. In addition, more and more people are buying their groceries online. This is the result of a survey by the retailer organization Swiss Retail Federation.

German oilseed processors call for commitment to genetic engineering
Media

German oilseed processors call for commitment to genetic engineering

At the start of the year, the oilseed processing industry (OVID) wishes the new German government courage and determination to achieve the goals agreed in the coalition agreement. These include the restructuring of the energy supply, further development of the Nutri-Score and the reduction of bureaucracy.

Prices for pasta are on the rise
Media

Prices for pasta are on the rise

Poor weather conditions led to poor wheat yields around the world. This has an impact on products like pasta, couscous and bulgur: they cost significantly more.

Genome editing for animal welfare
Media

Genome editing for animal welfare

British researchers were able to use genome editing to create single-sex litters in mice. In the future, the same technique could also be used to specifically breed only female chicks. This would prevent the killing of male chicks. But to do this, genome editing would also have to be permitted in animal breeding.

Swiss bread without Swiss grain?
Media

Swiss bread without Swiss grain?

Due to the exceptionally wet summer, the 2021 bread grain harvest will also be poor. Both - the quantity and quality of bread wheat - have suffered severely. To secure the bread supply, import quotas had to be applied for from the Federal Government. More imports are necessary.

Agriculture does not come from the office chair
Media

Agriculture does not come from the office chair

The many new rules mean that farmers face almost impossible tasks. As is so often the case, well-intentioned regulation makes everyday solutions for resource-efficient production impossible.

Broad alliance for modern breeding methods
Media

Broad alliance for modern breeding methods

The signal effect could not be greater. The label organization IP-Suisse, the fruit, vegetable and potato producers, the agricultural cooperative Fenaco, the large retailers Coop and Migros and the consumer forum have recently joined forces under the name "Varieties for tomorrow".

Climate change: "You have to invest heavily in innovation".
Media

Climate change: "You have to invest heavily in innovation".

On the occasion of the 26th Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Matthias Berninger, Global Head of Public Affairs, Science & Sustainability at Bayer, talks about the potential of new fertilisers for climate protection.

The temptation of the popular
Media

The temptation of the popular

Agriculture is one of the first victims of climate change. At the same time, it causes a significant share of global greenhouse gases. New technologies are the key to minimising the problem. But experts in particular are finding it increasingly difficult to recognise innovations as a solution to climate change.

Content in German

The rain, the vines and the robbers
Media

The rain, the vines and the robbers

2021 was a year for many winemakers to forget. Without crop protection, it will likely be difficult for the production of wine in Switzerland.

Making vanilla flavoring out of plastic waste
Media

Making vanilla flavoring out of plastic waste

Using bacteria, researchers in Scotland have succeeded in making vanillin out of plastic waste. This opens up the possibility of transforming plastic waste into a product that is in demand all over the world, thereby benefiting both the environment and food producers.

«An area one and a half times the size of the EU»
Media

«An area one and a half times the size of the EU»

The world’s population will increase to roughly 10 billion by 2050. Urs Niggli is therefore convinced that we need to make more productive use of existing land. This also means using gene editing.

An innovation hub for cultured meat
Media

An innovation hub for cultured meat

Migros, Bühler and Givaudan are launching an innovation hub for cultured meat. A pilot facility in Kemptthal (canton of Zurich) is moving forward with the development and marketing of lab-grown meat.

Canton of Zurich: Up to 90 percent fewer grapes
Media

Canton of Zurich: Up to 90 percent fewer grapes

The wet summer had a disastrous impact on the grape harvest. Conditions were ideal for mildew and other diseases and pests. In the canton of Zurich, the grape harvest was 50 percent smaller than usual.

A year of famine without pesticides
Media

A year of famine without pesticides

The year the prohibition against pesticides was put to a vote in Switzerland domestic farmers faced extremely severe weather conditions.

Swiss farmers can no longer protect their crops
Politics

Swiss farmers can no longer protect their crops

There is great uncertainty. Nobody knows how to guarantee the protection of crops in the future. There are hardly any approved active substances available that can be used to fight pests and fungal diseases.

Tomatoes with high amino acid content
Media

Tomatoes with high amino acid content

Gene-edited tomatoes have recently become available on the market in Japan. They were modified using the CRISPR/Cas9 precision breeding technique.

When copper no longer helps
Media

When copper no longer helps

The wet summer in 2021 led to losses of as much as 80 percent for potato farmers. Organic farms were hit especially hard. Even the massive use of copper was unable to save harvests in many cases.

Eastern Switzerland's Wine Harvest: It is not possible without plant health protection
Media

Eastern Switzerland's Wine Harvest: It is not possible without plant health protection

The summer of 2021 will probably remain in the memory of the Eastern Swiss winemakers for a long time to come. The wet cold weather with hail storms causes major crop failures.

CO2 reduction with alternative artificial fertiliser
Media

CO2 reduction with alternative artificial fertiliser

The two agrochemical producers Bayer and Syngenta are investing in an American start-up whose technology can massively reduce the use of nitrogen fertiliser.

Content in German

Genome editing for livestock farming
Media

Genome editing for livestock farming

More than 800 animal scientists met recently at the annual meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP) in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss challenges and solutions relating to the future of livestock breeding and farming.

More organic does not mean more biodiversity
Media

More organic does not mean more biodiversity

According to a team of researchers at the University of Göttingen, the key to more biodiversity lies in a landscape mosaic of natural habitats and small and diverse areas of cultivation.

Downgraded wheat and infested fruit
Media

Downgraded wheat and infested fruit

For a number of crops, this past summer’s bad weather has led to poor harvests. Wheat has been particularly affected. As much as 90 percent of the harvest, depending on the region, has had to be downgraded.

Resource wear instead of regional production
Media

Resource wear instead of regional production

On 13 June, the Swiss voters voted in favor of productive agriculture and against technology bans. They want regional food at affordable prices in the future. However, Switzerland is moving in the wrong direction with the unofficial counter-proposal under discussion on the two rejected agricultural initiatives. Disproportionate new hurdles in the authorization of plant protection products are threatening farmers with failed harvests. The environment and climate are not helped.

Moratoria also damage research careers
Media

Moratoria also damage research careers

Researchers are losing access to Horizon Europe. Restoring it is a top priority. But Switzerland also has it in its own hands to enable attractive new fields of research instead of blocking them.

Content in German

Prices for fruit are rising
Media

Prices for fruit are rising

The icy spring as well as the storms of recent weeks have led to some massive crop losses among European farmers. The consequences of this are rising fruit prices at the start of the summer. In fall, vegetables could also become more expensive.

Don’t stifle research and innovation
Media

Don’t stifle research and innovation

Whether it’s 5G, the coronavirus vaccine or genetic engineering, there is a lot of resistance to new technologies at the moment.