Luke’s statistics on utilised agricultural area indicate that, a hundred years ago, the cultivation area of oats was almost one-fifth higher than today. It peaked in 1975 and slumped to an all-time low in the 2010s. However, oats has remained one of the most cultivated plants during the last hundred years.
Information has been collected from Finnish farms annually, over the last hundred years, on the cultivation areas of field crops.
“Throughout the history of statistical gathering, barley, oats, wheat and rye, potato and pea, in addition to grasses, have been counted. Sugar beet joined the cultivation statistics in the 1940s and turnip rape in the early 1950s,” says Senior Statistician Anneli Partala of the Natural Resources Institute Finland.
Grass, barley and oats – the top three in 2016
In 2016, grasses took up most arable land, 2.3 million hectares. Approximately one third of the cultivation area was silage, pasture or hay grass produced as feed for domestic animals. Barley took up the next highest area, one fifth of arable land. Oats comes third on some 15 per cent of the arable land.
Plants on the rise in 2016
In recent years, the cultivation of caraway and broad bean has increased.
“Although these two are major crops, the area of both remains slightly below one per cent of the entire arable land area covered by the statistics,” says Partala.
Turnip rape and oilseed rape, however, exceed a one per cent share.
Recent statistics by Luke on the utilised agricultural area specify the cultivation area data for 2016.
The preliminary data published in June did not change in any major way. Areas for each plant by municipality and Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment are now available for the year 2016. The statistics database contains annual cultivation area data going back to 1920. Preliminary information on the 2017 cultivation areas will become available via Luke’s web service next June.