Minimization of herbicide application in conservation agriculture [Suisse]

Herbizideinsatz-Minimierung bei Feldern unter Direktsaat

technologies_1259 - Suisse

État complet : 73%

1. Informations générales

1.2 Coordonnées des personnes-ressources et des institutions impliquées dans l'évaluation et la documentation de la Technologie

Personne(s)-ressource(s) clé(s)

Spécialiste GDT:
Nom du projet qui a facilité la documentation/ l'évaluation de la Technologie (si pertinent)
Preventing and Remediating degradation of soils in Europe through Land Care (EU-RECARE )
Nom du ou des institutions qui ont facilité la documentation/ l'évaluation de la Technologie (si pertinent)
CDE Centre for Development and Environment (CDE Centre for Development and Environment) - Suisse

1.3 Conditions relatives à l'utilisation par WOCAT des données documentées

Le compilateur et la(les) personne(s) ressource(s) acceptent les conditions relatives à l'utilisation par WOCAT des données documentées:


2. Description de la Technologie de GDT

2.1 Courte description de la Technologie

Définition de la Technologie:

Through experience with herbicide application the land user learned that there are possibilities to minimize the amount of herbicide application to fields.

2.2 Description détaillée de la Technologie


The land user interviewed has an experience of nearly 30 years with the application of herbicide to his fields. Through this time he learned that there are ways to reduce the amount of herbicide and thereby conserve soil and nature against this aggressive pesticide. There are different factors to consider to reduce the herbicide application such as time of the day to bring out herbicides or time of the year. For example there is less herbicide needed the earlier in the morning it is applied to the field.

Purpose of the Technology: There are two main purposes of the technology. The fist is to protect crops and to not damage them with great amounts of herbicides. Thereby, also environment as a whole and especially waters are protected because there is always a part of herbicides washed out of soils and into waters. The second aim is more economically. As the effectiveness of the application of herbicides is worse in spring than in autumn, it should be prohibited by law to use herbicides in spring. On the other hand, land users should be allowed to use herbicides for a longer time in autumn because crops tend towards dormancy. Thereby, not only the amount of herbicides applied to a field can be reduced but the land user is also saving money.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: The establishment and maintenance of the technology requires first of all a great deal of knowledge. To receive the desired target situation there are many points to be discussed of the current situation with herbicide application. One point is the free pass which enables land users with a basic education to practice pest management even if they do not know what a pest management gun is and how it is used. A solution to this problem of lack of knowledge is seen by the land user through the structural change in agriculture. Companies providing spraying services are more efficient and tidy than the land user can be.

Natural / human environment: The technology helps protecting the environment and waters from pollution through washed out herbicides. This must always be kept in mind when discussing about the amount of herbicides. Some land users do not trust a smaller amount of herbicides to be as effective as the standardized one. But this overthinking must now be made because it is until today not sure what side effects herbicides have to the human and natural environment.

2.3 Photos de la Technologie

2.5 Pays/ région/ lieux où la Technologie a été appliquée et qui sont couverts par cette évaluation



Région/ Etat/ Province:


Autres spécifications du lieu:


Spécifiez la diffusion de la Technologie:
  • répartie uniformément sur une zone
S'il n'existe pas d'informations exactes sur la superficie, indiquez les limites approximatives de la zone couverte:
  • 0,1-1 km2

2.6 Date de mise en œuvre de la Technologie

Si l'année précise est inconnue, indiquez la date approximative: :
  • il y a entre 10-50 ans

2.7 Introduction de la Technologie

Spécifiez comment la Technologie a été introduite: :
  • grâce à l'innovation d'exploitants des terres
Commentaires (type de projet, etc.) :

Society required an overthinking of traditional pest management techniques over the last years. The land user started individually with his tests. But also in politics there were some attempts to reduce herbicides in agriculture. Third, the farmer's association works together with the local government of Bern on solutions for reducing herbicides which could be applied nationwide.

3. Classification de la Technologie de GDT

3.2 Type(s) actuel(s) d'utilisation des terres, là où la Technologie est appliquée

Terres cultivées

Terres cultivées

  • Cultures annuelles
Nombre de période de croissance par an: :
  • 2

Longest growing period in days: 120Longest growing period from month to month: May to AugustSecond longest growing period in days: 60Second longest growing period from month to month: August to October


Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): The major land use problems are erosion by water through heavy rainfall events and therefore loss of soil. Regarding the technology there is also the problem of the extensive use of herbicides and its inappropriate application. This can lead to damages to the following crop, chemical resistance and pollution of waters.

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): The area is likely to be affected by erosion as the main problem. Therefore, cultivation must be adapted to prevent soil erosion by water. The land user is also convinced of a pollution of waters through different human-induced reasons such as the inappropriate and ineffective use of herbicides.

3.4 Approvisionnement en eau

Approvisionnement en eau des terres sur lesquelles est appliquée la Technologie:
  • mixte: pluvial-irrigué

3.5 Groupe de GDT auquel appartient la Technologie

  • perturbation minimale du sol
  • lutte intégrée contre les ravageurs et les maladies (incluant l'agriculture biologique)

3.6 Mesures de GDT constituant la Technologie

pratiques agronomiques

pratiques agronomiques

  • A3: Traitement de la couche superficielle du sol
  • A4: Traitement de la couche profonde du sol

Main measures: agronomic measures

Type of agronomic measures: retaining more vegetation cover, mulching, mineral (inorganic) fertilizers, zero tillage / no-till, minimum tillage

3.7 Principaux types de dégradation des terres traités par la Technologie

érosion hydrique des sols

érosion hydrique des sols

  • Wt: perte de la couche superficielle des sols (couche arable)/ érosion de surface
dégradation chimique des sols

dégradation chimique des sols

  • Cp: pollution des sols
dégradation hydrique

dégradation hydrique

  • Hp: baisse de la qualité des eaux de surface

Main type of degradation addressed: Cp: soil pollution, Hp: decline of surface water quality

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion

Main causes of degradation: soil management (Use of herbicides in the past that are forbidden today have polluted soil and the environment substantially.), discharges (point contamination of water) (discharges of herbicides from agricultural fields into water bodies)

Secondary causes of degradation: Heavy / extreme rainfall (intensity/amounts) (not a main cause because the busy season of pesticides is in spring and heavy rainfalls mainly occur in autumn)

3.8 Prévention, réduction de la dégradation ou réhabilitation des terres dégradées

Spécifiez l'objectif de la Technologie au regard de la dégradation des terres:
  • prévenir la dégradation des terres

Main goals: prevention of land degradation

4. Spécifications techniques, activités, intrants et coûts de mise en œuvre

4.1 Dessin technique de la Technologie

Spécifications techniques (associées au dessin technique):

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: high (Vital role of agricultural advisor, who must be neutral and not a salesman.)

Technical knowledge required for land users: high (The land user always needs to have the best knowledge which must also be up to date. Therefore, he depends on a competent agricultural advisor. The knowledge he gained is transferred to his employees.)

Main technical functions: improvement of surface structure (crusting, sealing), improvement of topsoil structure (compaction), improvement of subsoil structure (hardpan), increase of groundcover

Retaining more vegetation cover
Material/ species: mulch of previous crop remains

Material/ species: previous crop remains

Mineral (inorganic) fertilizers
Material/ species: different types of herbicide

Zero tillage / no-till
Material/ species: machine with pesticide machine
Remarks: technological requirements such as individual nozzle switching, inside cleaning and wash

4.2 Informations générales sur le calcul des intrants et des coûts

autre/ monnaie nationale (précisez):

Swiss Franc

Indiquez le taux de change des USD en devise locale, le cas échéant (p.ex. 1 USD = 79.9 réal brésilien): 1 USD = :


4.3 Activités de mise en place/ d'établissement

Activité Calendrier des activités (saisonnier)
1. Establishment of a washing area
2. Buying a special nozzle machine

4.4 Coûts et intrants nécessaires à la mise en place

Spécifiez les intrants Unité Quantité Coûts par unité Coût total par intrant % du coût supporté par les exploitants des terres
Main d'œuvre Labour ha 1,0 15,0 15,0 100,0
Equipements Tools ha 1,0 3500,0 3500,0 100,0
Equipements Infrastructure: Washing area ha 1,0 1000,0 1000,0 100,0
Coût total de mise en place de la Technologie 4515,0
Coût total de mise en place de la Technologie en dollars américains (USD) 4515,0

Life span of product (washing area): Lifetime

4.5 Activités d'entretien/ récurrentes

Activité Calendrier/ fréquence
1. begin of herbicide application (not including market gardening) start of vegetation period/ March - end of May
2. after first harvest stubble treatment with total herbicide August/September
3. after second harvest again application of herbicides until 10th of October (end of herbicide application) September/October

4.6 Coûts et intrants nécessaires aux activités d'entretien/ récurrentes (par an)

Spécifiez les intrants Unité Quantité Coûts par unité Coût total par intrant % du coût supporté par les exploitants des terres
Main d'œuvre Labour ha 1,0 90,0 90,0 100,0
Equipements Machine use ha 1,0 90,0 90,0 100,0
Equipements Tools ha 1,0 60,0 60,0 100,0
Engrais et biocides Biocides ha 1,0 540,0 540,0 100,0
Coût total d'entretien de la Technologie 780,0
Coût total d'entretien de la Technologie en dollars américains (USD) 780,0

Machinery/ tools: tractor and special nozzle machine

Costs are calculated for a land user applying herbicides on his fields of a size of total 5-15 ha. Maintenance costs are calculated for one year, establishment costs for the implementation of the technology.

4.7 Facteurs les plus importants affectant les coûts

Décrivez les facteurs les plus importants affectant les coûts :

The area size of the agricultural fields is the most determinate factor affecting the costs. The smaller the application area of herbicides is the higher the costs get. To cut costs a land user needs to have a bigger area to apply herbicides on.

5. Environnement naturel et humain

5.1 Climat

Précipitations annuelles
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1000 mm
  • 1001-1500 mm
  • 1501-2000 mm
  • 2001-3000 mm
  • 3001-4000 mm
  • > 4000 mm
Zone agro-climatique
  • subhumide

Thermal climate class: temperate

5.2 Topographie

Pentes moyennes:
  • plat (0-2 %)
  • faible (3-5%)
  • modéré (6-10%)
  • onduleux (11-15%)
  • vallonné (16-30%)
  • raide (31-60%)
  • très raide (>60%)
  • plateaux/ plaines
  • crêtes
  • flancs/ pentes de montagne
  • flancs/ pentes de colline
  • piémonts/ glacis (bas de pente)
  • fonds de vallée/bas-fonds
Zones altitudinales:
  • 0-100 m
  • 101-500 m
  • 501-1000 m
  • 1001-1500 m
  • 1501-2000 m
  • 2001-2500 m
  • 2501-3000 m
  • 3001-4000 m
  • > 4000 m
Indiquez si la Technologie est spécifiquement appliquée dans des:
  • non pertinent
Commentaires et précisions supplémentaires sur la topographie:

Altitudinal zone: 501-1000 m a.s.l. ( 550-650 m a.s.l. )

5.3 Sols

Profondeur moyenne du sol:
  • très superficiel (0-20 cm)
  • superficiel (21-50 cm)
  • modérément profond (51-80 cm)
  • profond (81-120 cm)
  • très profond (>120 cm)
Texture du sol (de la couche arable):
  • moyen (limoneux)
  • fin/ lourd (argile)
Matière organique de la couche arable:
  • moyen (1-3%)
Si disponible, joignez une description complète du sol ou précisez les informations disponibles, par ex., type de sol, pH/ acidité du sol, capacité d'échange cationique, azote, salinité, etc.

Soil texture is medium (sandy loam, good for conservational agriculture and the application of herbicides) to fine (loamy clay poses problems for no-till farming)
Soil fertility is ver high-high
Soil drainage/infiltration is good (frost and floods as only problems for infiltration in this area but not frequently)
Soil water storage capacity is high

5.4 Disponibilité et qualité de l'eau

Profondeur estimée de l’eau dans le sol:

5-50 m

Disponibilité de l’eau de surface:


Qualité de l’eau (non traitée):

eau potable

5.5 Biodiversité

Diversité des espèces:
  • élevé

5.6 Caractéristiques des exploitants des terres appliquant la Technologie

Orientation du système de production:
  • commercial/ de marché
Revenus hors exploitation:
  • 10-50% de tous les revenus
Niveau relatif de richesse:
  • riche
Individus ou groupes:
  • individu/ ménage
Niveau de mécanisation:
  • mécanisé/ motorisé
  • hommes
Indiquez toute autre caractéristique pertinente des exploitants des terres:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly common / average land users

Population density: 100-200 persons/km2

Annual population growth: 1% - 2%

5.7 Superficie moyenne des terres utilisées par les exploitants des terres appliquant la Technologie

  • < 0,5 ha
  • 0,5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1 000 ha
  • 1 000-10 000 ha
  • > 10 000 ha
Cette superficie est-elle considérée comme de petite, moyenne ou grande dimension (en se référant au contexte local)?
  • moyenne dimension

Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology: 5-15 ha, 15-50 ha, 50-100 ha

5.8 Propriété foncière, droits d’utilisation des terres et de l'eau

Propriété foncière:
  • individu, avec titre de propriété
Droits d’utilisation des terres:
  • individuel
  • local government
Droits d’utilisation de l’eau:
  • communautaire (organisé)
  • local government

5.9 Accès aux services et aux infrastructures

  • pauvre
  • modéré
  • bonne
  • pauvre
  • modéré
  • bonne
assistance technique:
  • pauvre
  • modéré
  • bonne
emploi (par ex. hors exploitation):
  • pauvre
  • modéré
  • bonne
  • pauvre
  • modéré
  • bonne
  • pauvre
  • modéré
  • bonne
routes et transports:
  • pauvre
  • modéré
  • bonne
eau potable et assainissement:
  • pauvre
  • modéré
  • bonne
services financiers:
  • pauvre
  • modéré
  • bonne

6. Impacts et conclusions

6.1 Impacts sur site que la Technologie a montrés

Impacts socio-économiques


production agricole

en baisse
en augmentation
Commentaires/ spécifiez:

Because of elimination of undesired crops. However risk that herbicide affects crop production itself

risque d'échec de la production

en augmentation
en baisse
Revenus et coûts

revenus agricoles

en baisse
en augmentation
Commentaires/ spécifiez:

Because of increased crop yield

Impacts socioculturels

apaisement des conflits


Improved livelihoods and human well-being

Commentaires/ spécifiez:

The fact that the consequences of herbicides e.g. glyphosate for human health are not yet known disturbs the public. Also land users do not agree on the benefit or damage to natural environment because of herbicides. Therefore, minimizing the amount of herbicides applied as much as possible is an important step. An overthinking of the current situation but also much more knowledge and research on this topic must be provided in order to improve livelihoods and human well-being even more.

Impacts écologiques

Cycle de l'eau/ ruissellement

qualité de l'eau

en baisse
en augmentation
Commentaires/ spécifiez:

Because of water pollution of washed out herbicides


en augmentation
en baisse
Commentaires/ spécifiez:

Especially if no-tillage is practiced


couverture du sol

Commentaires/ spécifiez:

Especially if no-tillage is practised

perte en sol

en augmentation
en baisse

encroûtement/ battance du sol

en augmentation

compaction du sol

en augmentation

matière organique du sol/ au dessous du sol C

en baisse
en augmentation
Biodiversité: végétale, animale

espèces étrangères envahissantes

en augmentation
Commentaires/ spécifiez:

Because of the herbicide

Autres impacts écologiques

Biodiversity / crop diversity


6.3 Exposition et sensibilité de la Technologie aux changements progressifs et aux évènements extrêmes/catastrophes liés au climat (telles que perçues par les exploitants des terres)


The technology to minimize the amount of herbicides applied to agricultural fields must be understood as a sort of overthinking effect which does not consist of precautionary methods. Therefore this question can not be answered.

6.4 Analyse coûts-bénéfices

Quels sont les bénéfices comparativement aux coûts de mise en place (du point de vue des exploitants des terres)?
Rentabilité à court terme:

neutre / équilibrée

Rentabilité à long terme:


Quels sont les bénéfices comparativement aux coûts d'entretien récurrents (du point de vue des exploitants des terres)?
Rentabilité à court terme:


Rentabilité à long terme:

très positive


If agriculture wants to do fully without application of herbicides, changes in the payment and costs of labour must be lowered significantly. As labour is more and more replaced by machines, human labour is still too high when it comes to the costs.

6.5 Adoption de la Technologie


75% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

Comments on acceptance with external material support: 75% of land user families in the region of Bern applied the SLM Technology because they saw the positive economical effect that minimization of herbicides gave them.

There is a strong trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: There is also a trend against the adoption of the technology: current young land users need a too low profile of qualification for economical subsidies. This can lead to "bad land users" in the future. The profile of qualification should be lifted up for getting subsidies and thereby the appropriate use of subsidies would be learned.

6.7 Points forts/ avantages/ possibilités de la Technologie

Points forts/ avantages/ possibilités du point de vue de l'exploitant des terres
The application of herbicide ensures the crop production against alien crops. Therefore, to ensure this production the right application of herbicide is needed. Minimal amounts can lead to exact the same output of production.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? To ensure the crop production or even increase it through elimination of alien crops the right application of herbicide is needed.
Once the land user has the knowledge he needs to minimize the amount of herbicide it is simple to apply the technology on agricultural fields. Using this knowledge not only safes time for the land user but also money. There can be saved up to 50.-$/ha for herbicide.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? The spreading of knowledge on amounts of herbicide and the right application is highly important for the success of the technology. This must be guaranteed by government, local institutions or agricultural advisors and research.
Points forts/ avantages/ possibilités du point de vue du compilateur ou d'une autre personne ressource clé
The minimization of herbicides is important because it provides a solution to the last main problem in conservation agriculture, especially no-tillage. If there is no or less skepticism against the application of glyphosate or other herbicides the implementation of no-tillage in agriculture could be enhanced even more.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? It is important to minimize amounts of herbicides even further and to look for probable alternatives to these pesticides. This would lead to a far more sustainable land management in Swiss agriculture and to more land users adopting no-tillage.

6.8 Faiblesses/ inconvénients/ risques de la Technologie et moyens de les surmonter

Faiblesses/ inconvénients/ risques du point de vue de l’exploitant des terres Comment peuvent-ils être surmontés?
The acceptance of the system of herbicides is one great problem of the technology. Even after reducing the amounts of herbicides, there will be critical voices on the application of herbicides. Acceptance in public should be received for this technology. However, the technology itself provides no solution to this problem.
Faiblesses/ inconvénients/ risques du point de vue du compilateur ou d'une autre personne ressource clé Comment peuvent-ils être surmontés?
The aim of reducing the application of herbicides is formulated quickly. However, the transfer of knowledge needed and its application into the daily program of a land user is very difficult. Furthermore, the knowledge provided by agricultural schools is not yet up to date. The knowledge provided for land users, agricultural advisors and even students and teachers must be up to date in order to provide the latest results from research and to help implementing the technology of reducing herbicides even further among swiss land users.

7. Références et liens

7.1 Méthodes/ sources d'information