According to preliminary data of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), more than 40 per cent of the utilised agricultural area was covered by crop plants in winter 2015–2016. Nearly one fifth of the agricultural area was covered by plant residues or stubble, and one tenth was conservation tilled. In total, nearly 80 per cent of the total agricultural area was covered by plants or conservation tilled. A little over 20 per cent of the agricultural area was bare.
Ploughing remains clearly the most commonly used primary tillage method. More than half of the cultivated area was ploughed. Two thirds of ploughing was carried out in the autumn and one third in the spring. Conservation tillage accounted for nearly one third and sowing in untilled soil made up less than one tenth of the total cultivation area.
Slurry accounts for the majority of all manure
Approximately one quarter of all manure spread on fields was solid manure and three quarters were slurry or other liquid manure. Of all solid manure, approximately 75 per cent were incorporated after spreading. With regard to slurry, more than 40 per cent were injected during spreading, and roughly 13 per cent were spread on the surface using a trailing shoe or a similar spreader. The proportion of band spreading was 15 per cent and that of broadcast spreading was nearly 30 per cent. Nearly two thirds of all slurry spread by means of band or broadcast spreading were incorporated.
Surface water used in irrigation
In 2016, approximately 8,000 hectares of the field and horticultural area were irrigated. The irrigable area is nearly seven times higher than the irrigated area. Sprinkler irrigation is used on more than 80 per cent, drip irrigation is used on 18 per cent and subirrigation is used on 13 per cent of all irrigating farms. Nearly all water used in irrigation is comprised of surface water.
Final data will be completed next year
The primary data was collected from farmers during the Farm Structure Survey in autumn and winter 2016–2017. This data published is preliminary. Final results that also include information by region and production sector will be published next year.