Options for action

Agriculture is directly exposed to the effects of climate change. Warming, with sufficient nutrient and water availability, may tend to contribute to increased agricultural productivity. The scarcity of water resources, the increased numbers of weeds and pests, and the possible increase in extreme events can lead to yield losses.

Fields of action and the Confederation’s goals

Assessment of the areas of the agriculture sector affected by climate change

The overall objective of agriculture is, thanks to forward looking adaptation, to increase both production and public services both production.

Site suitability

  • Agricultural production is optimally adapted to changed site suitability.
  • Production potential is used in the best possible way and risk exposure is reduced.
  • The best soils (crop rotation areas) are preserved for agriculture.

Heavy rainfall

  • The risk of erosion and leaching of nutrients is counteracted, and the risk of compaction is purposefully reduced.


  • Water management is optimised (improving the water retention of soil, reducing evaporation losses and avoiding critical soil water conditions).
  • Irrigation is based on water availability and thus is economical and efficient.
  • Drought-tolerant crops and varieties are grown where necessary.

Heat stress

  • Effective measures to prevent heat stress in animals and plants (shadows, cooling, breeding, etc.) are developed and being used.

Harmful organisms

  • Potentially harmful organisms, the distribution area of which is threatening to expand into Switzerland, are monitored.
  • Emerging harmful organisms with high potential for damage are detected at an early stage and measures taken to
    prevent and control them.
  • Alternative control measures and anti-resistance strategies are developed and implemented.

Price volatility

  • The effect of price volatility is cushioned by effective risk management (operational and income diversification, inventories, crop insurance, etc.) and integrated markets.

Further informations

Specialist staff
Last modification 26.04.2016

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Federal Office for Agriculture FOAG
Agro-environmental Systems and Nutrients

Schwarzenburgstrasse 165
3003 Berne

Daniel Felder

Federal Office for the Environment FOEN
Climate Reporting and Adaptation

Papiermühlestrasse 172
3063 Ittigen

Climate Adaption

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