News Agriculture, Statistic

Following a few years of lower yields, barley, oat and rye harvests returned to the average level. The rye harvest was expected to be high after the rye area increased a year ago. This year’s rye harvest is four times larger than in 2018.

“This year’s normal cereal harvest compensates for the fodder cereal situation on many domestic animal farms following last year’s low yields. The record-high silage feed harvest also ensures that there is enough green fodder for the next harvest season,” says Anneli Partala, senior statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

Photo: Luke

The highest rye harvest since 1990

The rye harvest was as high as between the 1950s and the 1970s. Since then, the rye harvest has only been this high in few separate years. In recent decades, the consumption of rye in Finland has stabilised at roughly a few hundred million kilos. This means that the harvest of 180 million kilos easily covers rye consumption, unlike in the previous years.

Record-breaking yields in Ostrobothnia

Weather conditions during the growth season affected yields differently in different parts of Finland. Yields per hectare of all cereals were record high in Ostrobothnia. However, yields per hectare in Uusimaa were clearly below country-wide averages, which is highly unusual.

Organic harvest was also high

Organic farming has expanded in Finland in recent years, and many field crops produced record-breaking yields. Oat is the most widely cultivated organic cereal, and its yields increased by nearly 70%. The organic oat harvest of roughly 77 million kilos accounts for 6.5% of Finland’s total oat harvest of 1.2 billion kilos.

No scarcity of green fodder

The green fodder harvest has been low during the past few years, whereas this year’s harvest was higher. In addition, green fodder has taken over larger portions of the cultivation area in recent years. Under the favourable weather conditions in 2019, the silage feed harvest increased by a quarter from the previous year.

Background to the statistics

Luke collects crop production information from approximately 6,200 farms, of which 670 are organic farms, using telephone interviews and an online survey. The preliminary statistics include information from approximately 4,400 farms. The statistics will be reported as final in March 2020, when the confirmed data supplied by farms included in the statistics become available for the calculation of harvest volumes. Information about the quality of the cereal harvest has been compiled by combining the crop production information collected by Luke and Finnish Food Authority’s cereal quality monitoring information.

All information is available in the Luke’s statistical services. The service includes crop production information about key crops in all parts of Finland starting from 1920. Regional crop production information is available in the service starting from 1999.