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Agroscope investigating nutrient cycles in Sursee

The new Agroscope test station has been put into operation. Together with local partners, activities here will be focused on increasing the efficiency of nutrients and simultaneously reducing emissions.

Generic Image Agroscope.
Agroscope is planning to research the efficient use of manure in agricultural practices from its base in Sursee. Image Credit: Agroscope

Agroscope, the Swiss government’s competence center for agriculture, intends to facilitate further research and greater practical orientation with the implementation of a new location strategy. As part of this, the new nutrient cycles test station located in Sursee has been put into operation, as detailed in a press release issued by the canton of Lucerne. As an agricultural canton, Lucerne was destined to play a role in the research conducted at the new test station.

In Sursee, Agroscope works together with the canton and other partners from Central Switzerland to increase the efficiency of nutrients and cut emissions. These partners include the association of farmers in Lucerne and other industry associations. “The cantonal government of Lucerne advocated the Sursee location to the Federal Council”, explains Fabian Peter, member of the cantonal government of Lucerne responsible for the Department of Construction, Environment and Economy. He adds: “Our aim is to find sustainable solutions on the back of innovation and progress, and develop these together with the agricultural sector”.

The test station serves as a hub at the interface of research and agricultural practice. In this way, research questions are contextualized and study findings are implemented in fields and stables. “I am pleased that in the next few years, with the support of the canton and Agroscope, farms in Lucerne will be addressing major issues regarding more sustainable agricultural practices”, Peter comments.

The background to the research work being conducted in Sursee is the fact that the Swiss federal government failed to achieve its environmental targets in the area of nutrients. If phosphorus and nitrogen contained in manure are used as fertilizer, but not completely absorbed by plants, this leads to excess. In this instance, the aim is to achieve more efficient use and consequently generate a reduction in emissions.

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