Distribution of conventional and organic maize fields in Swiss hilly regions
In Switzerland, maize is cultivated for feed, fodder and grain production, but no seed production. The Berne team will closely collaborate with the group of P. Stamp, ETH Zurich, in their project part: 'Measuring and modelling outcrossing between maize crops at the landscape scale.'
Fields in Switzerland like in many other hilly regions are rather small. This creates difficulties to ensure minimal distances between GMO fields and, for example, fields from organic farmers or farmers cultivating land races for niche production. However, up to date no valid documentation exists on field sizes, field forms, their distances from each other, their differences in altitudes, their cultivation type (organic or conventional) etc. However, this information is essential to develop strategies for separate production lines.
In cooperation with the Zurich Group model regions will be chosen in the Swiss midlands. The Berne Group will work upon the information on the maize field structure in this region. Maize fields will be mapped in the field over 3 years, using GPS. Additionally, high-resoluted satellite pictures and aerial pictures will be analysed. This approach will greatly enhance the value of both studies as it delivers solid information on the actual situation of outcrossing in specific alpine situations on the one hand and on the related agricultural geography of maize fields on the other hand.
These studies could preferably be linked with the project parts of partners in Italy and Spain. The method for the mapping will be coordinated with other project groups doing modelling, in order to ensure data analysis and integration of Swiss data into their models.
Results will be communicated by means of annual and final reports for the Commission, conference papers at scientific and regulatory meetings, refereed publications of basic knowledge.