Barley is the predominant grain in Finland, covering one fifth of Finland’s arable area. This spring, barley lost one tenth of its cultivation area mainly to feed grass. The area of feed grasses is the largest in over twenty years. Together, barley and feed grasses cover half of the arable land.
“The changes in cultivation areas reflect the winds of change in arable crop production. The increasing share of oats, broad bean and caraway in particular meet the demands of the market and consumers,” says Senior Statistician Anneli Partala of Natural Resources Institute Finland.
Caraway and broad bean area already larger than that of potato
For twenty years, caraway has been a staple crop in Finnish fields because it is a successful export product. The cultivation area of broad bean began to expand in 2010 and today, it equals that of potato and caraway. This year, the combined cultivation area of the three crops exceeds 20,000 hectares.
Oilseed rape replacing turnip rape
Last year, the area of oilseed rape narrowly surpassed that of turnip rape. This year, the area of oilseed rape (38,000 hectares) is already clearly larger than that of turnip rape (28,000 hectares). Comparison of the yields per hectare last year makes the farmers’ choice easy to understand – the harvest of oilseed rape was clearly higher than that of turnip rape.
Feed grass area the largest in over 20 years
Dry hay and silage fodder are the main products harvested from the feed grass area, and in terms of their harvest expectations, the increase in cultivation area anticipates an increase. The feed grass area is the largest since 1995. Since then, the feed grass area was in continuous decline but took a turn upward last year, strengthening further this year.
The statistical data is based on plant-specific cultivation area notified this spring by farmers in conjunction with main subsidy applications. An estimated 90 per cent of notifications were available for this advance data. More detailed cultivation area data will be become available for each ELY Centre on 14 July 2017. Luke will then publish the regional provisional utilised agricultural area statistics.