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Ruukki research infrastructure

Ruukki has field research platforms, which offer the opportunity to focus in particular on acid sulphate soils and peat soils. There is also a research hub where research related to beef production can be carried out. Luke Ruukki's research infrastructure provides practical applications for research and development activities to support entrepreneurs in arable farming and beef production.

Photo: Katja Tähjä / Luken kuva-arkisto.

Ruukki's research infrastructure includes 70 hectares of arable land for research and feed production. The fields are located on both organic and mineral soils. Sulphate soils typical of coastal areas are also present. There is also cooperation with farmers who have fields suitable for organic research. Agricultural discharges to water can be measured in instrumented fields on both sulphate and peat soils. For the measurement of greenhouse gases, eddy-covariance instrumentation and chamber measurement systems are available. Ruukki is part of the INAR RI long-term greenhouse gas measurement stations and one of the research platforms is part of the AnaEE ERIC experimental ecosystem research infrastructure.

 

The non-isolated research barn for beef cattle has room for 110 cattles. There are 22 pens, each of which can accommodate five animals. Half of the pen area is a permanent lying area, and half is a solid manure corridor. Each pen has two GrowSafe feeding troughs, which allow individual monitoring of feed consumption. Drinking water consumption can be measured per pen. In addition, the barn is equipped with equipment for weighing the animals and for behavioural studies. The research barn allows for modelling across the production chain, including different farm models, production competitiveness and environmental impact.

Research barn

  • non-isolated production building for 110 experimental animals
  • Individual measurement of feed consumption (GrowSafe feeding troughs)
  • Measurement of water consumption per pen
  • Animal handling facilities and scales
  • thermographic camera and ultrasonic measuring equipment
  • mobile pen-specific cameras for behavioural studies
  • temperature and gas loggers

Experimental fields for cultivation

  • peat parcel
  • multi-soil parcel
  • mineral soil parcel
  • 4-hectare organic farming parcel

Instrumented research fields

  • The study can be carried out at the spatial and catchment scale.
  • A 26-hectare peat field under drainage, with peat depths ranging from 15 to 75 cm. The field is divided into eight different plots, with moisture conditions monitored at different soil depths by Soil Scout and groundwater levels monitored at the scale of the whole field by groundwater loggers using groundwater pipes. The system is currently being modified towards real-time continuous measurements.
  • Drainage measurements: the water quality of drainage runoff can be measured in parcels 1–6 and surface runoff and its water quality in block 6. Drainage is measured all year round and water samples are collected in a drainage water monitoring well. A continuous water quality sensor is also installed in the monitoring well to measure nitrate and carbon in parcels 1–6.
  • There is a water storage reservoir (0.7 hectares) adjacent to the field, which can be used to control the groundwater level in the study field. This allows both field drainage and irrigation to be studied.
  • Greenhouse gas measurements: for parcels1–8, greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) will be measured using dark and light chambers and, in future also using portable analysers. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions will be measured in open ponds around the field.
  • There are eddy-covariance measurements in the area: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide (Finnish Meteorological Institute).
  • AnaEE research platform

Area of research

  • field trials for cereals, grass and special crops
  • organic trials
  • official variety trials
  • environmental impact of drained peatlands
  • sulphate and peat soil tests
  • agri-environmental stress tests
  • low-carbon and resource-efficient feed production and feeding
  • feeding and behaviour tests for cattle
  • Drainage and manure management
  • climate and water emissions from peat fields
  • wetland biomass production chain
  • measurement of water pollution
  • climate-friendly farming technologies for peatlands

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