Lowest grain harvest in the 21st century expected

Natural Resources Institute Finland -

According to an estimate by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), the grain harvest for 2018 will be 2.8 million tons. If this estimate proves correct, the harvest will be the lowest during this millennium so far. The harvest will be a third smaller than the highest grain harvest in the 21st century, which was in 2009. The rye harvest will probably drop by half and the wheat harvest by a third from last year. This is the third consecutive poor harvest year in Finland. If the exceptionally dry and hot weather continues, even less grain than estimated could be harvested in the autumn. The rye harvest will be cut by half from last year to the lowest level in the past five years. Photo: Luke

“If the estimate is correct, the grain harvest will be as low as in 1998 and 1999, when the harvest was first reduced by continuous rain and then by a dry and hot summer,” says senior statistician Anneli Partala from Luke’s Statistical Services.

The current growing season did not have a promising start, as the heat wave and drought in early summer afflicted the harvest growth.

“In some places, the plants were able to revive from this ordeal during the subsequent cool and rainy period, but the new heat wave can cause lignification, which would further reduce the expected harvest,” explains Research Professor Pirjo Peltonen-Sainio from Luke.

Rye harvest cut by half, wheat by one-third

The rye harvest will be cut by half from last year to the lowest level in the past five years. The rye harvest of some 50,000 tons will only cover around half of the consumption in Finland. The wheat harvest will be cut by one-third from last year to the lowest level in the past fifteen years. The main reason for the poor rye harvest is the fact that the cultivation area was reduced by the unfavourable weather during seeding last autumn. In the case of the other grains, the main reason is drought.

Barley and oats cut by one-tenth

The barley harvest will probably be the poorest in thirty years, one-eighth lower than last year. Among all the grains, the oats harvest will be reduced the least, by a little over one-tenth. The oats harvest will be the lowest in eight years. This will be the second year over the course of the last three decades when the oats harvest remains below 900 million kilograms.

Rape harvest has been on the rise in the past few years, but will now show a decrease

The rape harvest will be one-fourth lower than last year. Cultivation of rape has become more common in the past few years, and the harvest per hectare has been higher than that of turnip rape. This year will be an exception: the rape harvest will remain lower than usual and the sown area has decreased.

Background to the statistics

Luke’s July harvest estimates are based on local estimates supplied by experts at ProAgria Rural Advisory Centres and reflect the situation on 16 July. The estimates for each municipality are based on visual observations and local knowledge. The areas under cultivation are obtained from the data systems of the administrative body of rural industries.

The next statistics, reflecting the situation on 27 August, will be published on 31 August 2018. The crop production statistics will be expanded and further specified on 22 November, at which time Luke will publish regional harvest information based on information obtained directly from farms.  

A harvest estimate table is available on the crop production statistics homepage.

Artikkeli Lowest grain harvest in the 21st century expected julkaistiin ensimmäisen kerran Luonnonvarakeskus.

Luke and FAO sign memorandum of understanding

Natural Resources Institute Finland -

19 July, 2018, Rome – A partnership between FAO and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) promises to forge closer links in the key areas of sustainable forestry, the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change and food security. A memorandum of understanding signed today sets out a plan of work that builds on an existing collaboration, significantly expanding its scope in terms of geography and vision.

Luke, a multi-disciplinary research institution with expertise in renewable natural resources, works to provide innovative solutions for food production and development based on a bio-economy and sustainable use of natural resources. Forestry is a special focus of its research portfolio, which also addresses the areas of water and fisheries, innovative food systems and improved information on how to balance sound environmental values with human requirements.

The partnership between FAO and Luke will involve a four-part approach, based on:

  • strengthening sustainable forestry practices and integrated forest resources management in developing countries;
  • sharing expertise for statistical data collection and analysis to improve measurement of the Sustainable Development Goal indicators;
  • developing and providing technical guidance, data and tools to support FAO Member States’ implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts under the Paris Agreement; and
  • raising awareness on key themes linked to food security, sustainable forestry, climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The joint initiatives will take place at country, regional and global levels, with a special focus on Ethiopia and Myanmar in the case of efforts to step up sustainable forest management and robust forest monitoring. FAO and Luke are already working together in both countries to bolster technical capacities in developing assessments on forests, with the goal of creating sound national forest policies and sustainable development and helping them to meet national and international requirements.

“Luke, with almost 100 years of forest inventory and monitoring experience, is an excellent partner for delivering the necessary support to the developing countries”, said Hiroto Mitsugi, Assistant Director-General, FAO Forestry Department.

“We welcome this opportunity to work with FAO as it will help Luke to have a global impact and to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and climate change mitigation and adaptation commitments”, continued Johanna Laiho-Kauranne, Vice President of Statistics in Luke.

As part of the latest agreement, arrangements have been set in place for exchanges of technical staff, with the aim of building capacities and collaborating in areas identified as joint priorities. As the first such secondment, a Luke forestry expert is currently based at FAO headquarters, specializing in the linkages between forests and forest-related development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Artikkeli Luke and FAO sign memorandum of understanding julkaistiin ensimmäisen kerran Luonnonvarakeskus.

Luke’s climate, forest, agri-food, and arctic bioeconomy experts available during the #Helsinki2018 Summit

Natural Resources Institute Finland -

The experts of Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) are available on 15–16 July to give research-based information on climate change, forests, agri-food, arctic bioeconomy, and large carnivores living in Finland.

Forests and climate change

Vice President Taneli Kolström, tel. +358 295 325 011 (Forests and climate change).

Principal Scientist Kari T. Korhonen, tel. +358 295 323 030 (Forest resources).

See also:

Sustainable use of forests and the carbon-neutrality targets of the Paris Agreement (policy brief)
Forests and climate change

Arctic bioeconomy, agriculture and sustainable food production

Research Professor Sirpa Kurppa, tel. +358 295 326 286.

Senior Scientist Juha-Matti Katajajuuri, tel. 358 295 326 219.

See also:

The potential of arctic bioeconomy (policy brief)
Finnish arctic flavours take on the world
Nutrient recycling – from vision to practice (policy brief)

Farm animal welfare and health

Research Professor Jarkko Niemi, tel. +358 295 326 392.

See also:

Animal welfare and health

Wild life in Finland

Programme Manager Sirpa Thessler, tel. +358 408 448 498.

See also:

The bear
The wolf

Further reading

Luke meets Leia – read our stakeholder magazine Leia for more facts about Finnish bioeconomy!

Artikkeli Luke’s climate, forest, agri-food, and arctic bioeconomy experts available during the #Helsinki2018 Summit julkaistiin ensimmäisen kerran Luonnonvarakeskus.

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