Lead: Dr. Lucius Tamm, FiBL

The overall objective is to anticipate how risk-minimized pesticide use strategies might evolve in Switzerland in the next decades. We will therefore make a detailed capture and analysis of agronomic management practices at farm level on apple production, an inventory of plant protection strategies, an inventory of “good farming practices” in Switzerland and an Inventory of “ready to use” practices and innovations. The proposed study addresses the gaps in our knowledge relating to (i) the potential impact of innovative production systems (at field, farm, and landscape level) over time due to technical innovation and pesticide reduction strategies, and (ii) the economic impacts associated with altered farming and management systems.

To achieve our goals, we selected case study sites in several regions in Switzerland including Aargau, Thurgau, Solothurn, Zürich, Wallis and Waadt, with a total of 20 farms. Methods used for data collection are face to face interviews with farm managers. On one hand we designed a semi structure interview to analyse agronomic management practices in apple crops. Different farming types were assessed (conventional, IP, organic) as well as practices and plant protection strategies adopted by farmers throughout cropping season. On the other hand, we tried to assess the overall context of farms using SMART analysis tool.

Our outputs will deliver information on how that transformation can be reached by ranking case study sites and their production systems and methods. We will be able to identify worst practices vs. best practices and make propositions for the future to decrease the impact of massive PPP use.  The analysis will identify the range of current practices and impact/risk scores with respect to environment and human health. 

Our research will be combined to other WPs including policies where we will try to identify links between practices and policies to propose options and strategies for pesticide risk reduction. We will identify common objectives related to PPP reduction and assess how policies can lead to the establishment of best practices.