Blind spot

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.

Safe Use of Highly Effective Pesticides
Knowledge

Safe Use of Highly Effective Pesticides

If Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHP), as they are known, are handled and used correctly, they are safe. In many countries, indeed, they are the only solution for saving lives,

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

Climate change: lower harvests starting as early as 2030?
Research

Climate change: lower harvests starting as early as 2030?

Climate change affects the quality and quantity of harvests. According to a recently published study, there is a risk of significantly lower maize harvests as early as the mid-2030s. Africa and South America are primarily affected. However, Europe must also be careful that agricultural production is not neglected.

«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.

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.

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.

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.

«Pesticides are becoming increasingly toxic»
Knowledge

«Pesticides are becoming increasingly toxic»

This is the opposite of the truth. Over the last few decades, pesticides have become safer and safer. New active ingredients are subjected to extremely stringent approval processes.

“Genetic engineering endangers health”
Knowledge

“Genetic engineering endangers health”

It is often said that genetically modified foods are not safe and could have a negative impact on human and animal health. However, these claims cannot be substantiated by facts.

"Organic products can feed the world"
Knowledge

"Organic products can feed the world"

To produce the same amount of food, organic agriculture needs around 40 percent more space than conventional agriculture. In order to be able to feed the growing world population completely organically, up to 80 percent more space would be needed in the future.

“More than 200,000 deaths annually due to pesticide poisoning”
Knowledge

“More than 200,000 deaths annually due to pesticide poisoning”

If you look closely, you can see: The number comes from a 35-year-old study. In a thought experiment at the time, suicides involving pesticides in Sri Lanka were extrapolated worldwide.

"Natural is healthy, chemicals are toxic."
Knowledge

"Natural is healthy, chemicals are toxic."

Everything that occurs in nature is healthy and synthetically produced substances, i.e. "chemical" substances, are toxic. This myth is fundamentally wrong: There are many highly toxic substances in nature, and at the same time there are many synthetic substances that are absolutely harmless.

"Swiss water is in a bad way."
Knowledge

"Swiss water is in a bad way."

That's not actually true. Our surface waters, groundwater and drinking water are in very good condition. Our water quality tops international rankings. There cannot be any mention of poor Swiss water quality.

"Pesticides are to blame for insect deaths."
Knowledge

"Pesticides are to blame for insect deaths."

Pesticides are repeatedly blamed for the decline in insects. That is too simplistic an assessment. The reality is much more complex. For example, overdevelopment has a much stronger influence on insect populations. This is demonstrated by a meta-study on global insect decline.

"Pesticides damage the climate."
Knowledge

"Pesticides damage the climate."

Pesticides are bad for the climate? No, the exact opposite is true. Plant protection products help to produce more food on less usable space and thus protect the soil.

"Organic products do not require pesticides."
Knowledge

"Organic products do not require pesticides."

The fact that organic farmers work without pesticides is a commonly-held view, but it is clearly wrong. Around 60 percent of the Swiss top ten crop protection products are also approved for organic farming. The organic farming industry, in its current form, could not exist without modern synthetic plant protection products.