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Reference Projects

Optimised irrigation with new soil moisture sensors

Automatisierte Bewässerung im Berner Seeland (Foto: Luzius Matile, ZHAW, 2013)

With current irrigation systems, a lot of water is being wasted because the irrigation intensity is not adapted to the amount of water required by the plants. The aim of this project is to develop a water-saving irrigation system, especially for professional use. This is controlled by innovative soil moisture probes, which can be produced at low cost, and thus takes into account the effective water requirements of the plants.

Project partners: FOEN, FOAG, PlantCare AG

Risk assessment on military firing ranges with grassland use

Sanierung einer Schiessanlage (Foto: Rolf Krebs, ZHAW)

Large quantities of heavy metals are released into the ground at military firing ranges. The backstop areas, which are contaminated with lead, copper and antimony, are problematic. Many of these shooting ranges are used for agricultural purposes as grassland. This can endanger the health of the animals. The pollutant load on shooting ranges show a strong spatial variability. The knowledge about the effect of the usually short grazing period on these polluted sites on the animals is limited. Therefore, we develop a practical and easy to implement guideline on dealing with these cases.

Project partners: DDPS, FOEN

Monitoring of soil structure during recultivation

Infiltrationsmessungen auf einer rekultivierten Fläche (Foto: Luzius Matile, ZHAW)

As a result of construction activity and the decreasing amount of arable land, more and more soil improvement measures are required. Degraded soils are often upgraded to crop rotation areas. Monitoring over several years will make it possible to assess the measures for enhancing soil quality and apply the experience gained to further improvements. In the Benkner Riet, soil field and laboratory methods are used to check the objectives of upgrading and explain soil physical properties.

Project partner: AFU St. Gallen