Experimental Site in Switzerland

Context and objectives

In Switzerland, as in other countries, organic vegetable production in greenhouses is characterised by limited crop rotation and a high dependence on external inputs. This is not only because greenhouses are costly but also because there are strict regulations about building and using greenhouses. Therefore, farmers only use greenhouses to grow crops with high market demand.

We want to compare these “business as usual” systems with innovative systems, which have more diversified crop rotations, low energy consumption and which are not highly dependent on external input.

Experimental factors

Two business as usual systems and two innovative systems will be tested:

  • Business as usual 1: Crop rotation with low diversity in heated greenhouse
  • Business as usual 2: Crop rotation with low diversity in only frost-free heated greenhouse
  • Innovative cropping system 1: Diverse Crop rotation, in only frost-free heated greenhouse, fertilized by transfer mulch
  • Innovative cropping system 2: Diverse Crop rotation, in only frost-free heated greenhouse, with agroecological service crop (“green manure”)

This is tested in 3 replicates from 2018 to 2021.

Expected outputs

We evaluate data on nutrient use (especially nitrogen), soil fertility and biodiversity as well as the above ground fauna and flora. In terms of sustainability, outputs will help to compare the impact on greenhouse gas emissions and other ecological factors. We will also calculate key economic performance indicators for this site.

Further information

Contact

Céline Gilli, Agroscope