Agricultural and process engineering
- Agricultural engineering
Engine/transmission technology, hydraulics, process chains in the field, efficiency of agricultural technology, electric vehicles (the Swiss Eco-Drive programme) and logistics in agriculture, machine/process costs
Efficient power transmission, optimisation of traction, reduction of soil pressure and soil compaction, soil restructuring
- Natural resources protection
Soil conservation, conservation cropping systems, wild animals, biodiversity
- Electronics and sensing technology
Site-specific crop management, control and regulation technology, automation
Prof. Dr Bernhard Streit, Lecturer in Process Engineering in Crop Production
Prof. Roger Stirnimann, Lecturer in Agricultural Engineering
Fabienne Bauer, Research Scientist
Martin Bauer, Research Scientist
Serge Braun, Assistant
Dominique Flury, Assistant
Martin Häberli-Wyss, Research Scientist
Manfred Muhr, Workshop Manager
Matthias Stettler, Research Scientist
Soil compaction caused by cultivated land being driven over by heavy machines is, along with erosion, regarded as one of the biggest threats to soil fertility. The free online Terranimo® programme, in conjunction with the federal ‘Soil Protection in Agriculture’ implementation aid, is the official instrument for calculating the risk of soil compaction due to agricultural machines. Terranimo® is a joint development by BFH-HAFL, Agroscope, the University of Aarhus (Denmark) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU. The programme is being continuously extended and improved thanks to a steady stream of new research projects. The target users of Terranimo® are farmers, contractors, extension agents and teachers at agricultural schools.
Project management: Matthias Stettler
Yearbook of Agricultural Engineering
The Yearbook of Agricultural Engineering is a scientific reference book published every year from 1988 to 2011 in print form – recently even consistently bilingual (German and English). Since 2012 it has only been published in electronic form. Contributions are freely accessible and can be downloaded as PDFs free of charge. The coverage ranges from tractors through tillage and sowing technology to self-propelling harvesting machinery. Legal and historical issues are also considered. BFH-HAFL staff have been contributing to the publication since 2014.
The main concern of this research project is the systematic selection of overwintering green manure crops which quickly and safely cover the soil, can be controlled easily and without herbicide and support the growth of the successive maize crop. BFH-HAFL researchers are investigating how these winter-hardy types can be optimally cultivated in terms of sowing time and how they interact with maize under various environmental conditions in a conservation cropping system – especially when they are to be controlled mechanically. The researchers are also investigating what influence the various cultivation methods and green manure crops have on the development of maize.
Project management: Fabienne Bauer
Soil erosion leads to the loss of valuable topsoil and can contaminate water and cause significant damage to infrastructure. Despite knowledge of the factors which facilitate erosion, there continues to be erosion-related events. In order to better understand the processes involved, such events need to be located using radar precipitation data and fully documented using real-time aerial photography. In this way, models which show the flow path of the water can be validated. Based on the latest findings, BFH-HAFL researchers are developing proposals for adapted land use in order to avoid soil erosion in heavy precipitation in the future.
Project management: Matthias Stettler
Every year, thousands of fawns die in Switzerland during grass harvesting. BFH-HAFL has already developed a rescue method, using thermal imaging cameras from the air, which has a success rate of over 95%. To implement fawn rescue, there needs to be appropriate forms of organisation with reliable financing. The goal of this project is to develop solutions to ensure that rescue teams can be coordinated, trained and remunerated.
Project management: Nicole Berger