The overall aim of task 4.1 B is to better understand farmers’ agricultural practices and pest management decisions and to explore the options for adoption of improved management practices. Detailed analyses of farm structure and management practices at farm level provide the base to provide management options to design farmer’s choice experiments. Furthermore, the farm management analysis feeds into task 5.3 where we explore how risk-minimized pesticide use strategies might evolve in Switzerland from now on in the next 30 years.
We selected a total of 20 farms (conventional, IP, organic) case study sites in several regions in Switzerland including Aargau, Thurgau, Solothurn, Zürich, Wallis and Waadt. Methods used for data collection included face to face semi-structured interviews with farm managers to analyse agronomic management practices in apple crops. As an initial benchmark, we assessed the overall sustainability of each farm by the SMART analysis tool following the SAFA guidelines.