This summer of 2015 will see an even greater volume of peas and broad beans on Finland’s approximately 2.3 million hectares of arable land. Golden-yellow splendour will increase in the fields when turnip rape and oilseed rape sowing intentions are realised.
Spring barley and oats will continue to dominate, and they are important feeds used for livestock in Finland. According to the sown area notifications made by farmers, the area under barley is decreasing by 26,000 hectares but still exceeds 500,000 hectares. The increase in the area under rye by nearly 10,000 hectares will increase the total area to approximately 33,000 hectares. In practice, if the upcoming growing season is favourable, it will be possible to achieve close to self-sufficiency in rye, i.e. Finnish rye bread.
The area under peas and broad beans will double
The broad bean is one of our oldest crops, but in recent decades it has been a marginal plant in Finnish fields. Five years ago, its cultivation area increased and stabilised close to 10,000 hectares. On the basis of farmers’ sowing intentions, the area under broad bean will increase and exceed 15,000 hectares.
During the last couple of decades, the area under peas has been approximately 5,000 hectares. This year, the area will increase to nearly 13,000 hectares. The area under peas last exceeded 10,000 hectares in the early 1990s. If sowing plans are realised, the area under turnip rape and oilseed rape will be a third higher than in 2014, i.e. nearly 58,000 hectares. A peak year was 2010, when 158,000 hectares were under turnip rape and oilseed rape cultivation.
Subsidy reform challenges statistical terms
Farms have taken into account the revised subsidy system, and the new programme period 2014–2020, in cropping plans for this year and for the next five years. In addition to the growth in the cultivation area of protein plants, the change will be reflected in new grassland growing mainly for environmental reasons alongside water bodies and on acidic land. In addition to nature management fields, the subsidy form has introduced riparian zones, biodiversity arable areas and environmental agreement areas. An additional five per cent, i.e. 11,000 hectares, have been included in the statistics in this subgroup taken out of cultivation.
The statistical data is based on plant-specific cultivation area notified this spring by farmers in conjunction with main subsidy applications. An estimated 85 per cent of notifications were available for this advance data. More detailed cultivation area data will be become available for each ELY Centre on 2 July 2015. Luke will then publish the regional provisional utilised agricultural area statistics.