• Wyss Academy

Sustainable use of water and soil in the Three Lakes Region (Bernese Seeland)


BERN HUB | Project LANAT-2



Our goal:

Our aim is to promote sustainable, competitive vegetable production in the Bernese Seeland.


A soil probe to measure precipitation, soil moisture at 10 to 60 cm depth, as well as the soil temperature. Photo: Andrea Marti


In a nutshell:

The Bernese Seeland is considered Switzerland’s vegetable belt. The region faces significant economic and ecological challenges, as the agricultural sector must produce goods with fewer pesticides going forward while continuing to meet market demands. In addition, it must improve soil fertility, biodiversity as well as water use. In this project, existing resource-conserving approaches will be developed further, and future-oriented technologies will be tested in areas with drained organic soils (“peat soils”).


  • Subproject 1, “Geodata-referenced regional production planning”, will develop a GIS-based platform for the use of parcel-specific location and cultivation data. These data can support cross-farm and regional production planning, optimization of plant health, and reduced pesticide use.


  • Subproject 2, “Forecasting systems for reduction of pesticide use”, will develop and test a local warning and forecasting system featuring interpolated weather data for specific crops.


  • Subproject 3, “Further development of cultivation techniques for resource-conserving tillage, fertilization, and plant protection”, will investigate the influence of different tillage systems on the development and quality of vegetable crops; optimized use of recycled fertilizer; the impact of green manuring and soil cover systems on the development of selected pests; soil-conserving cultivation systems; and new approaches to promotion of plant health (robotized weed control, use of companion plants).


  • Subproject 4, “Targeted and needs-based crop irrigation with water balances to extend the irrigation network”, seeks to generate data, by expanding the network of soil probes, which will enable adaptation of a German irrigation app to conditions in Switzerland. The app will be tested for accuracy and usability by Swiss vegetable producers. The water optimization potential in the Seeland region will be assessed for different soils and crops to provide a basis for large-scale modelling of irrigation needs in Switzerland.



A researcher talks with a vegetable farmer participating in the project. Photo: HAFL

Determining the root depth of carrots. Photo: Andrea Marti

 

In collaboration with:

Amt für Landwirtschaft und Natur des Kantons Bern LANAT (Office for Agriculture and Nature of the Canton of Bern)