Natural Resources Institute Finland

Greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural enterprises have fallen relative to production – Luke’s new greenhouse gas emission calculation service now open

The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) has developed a service for calculating greenhouse gas emissions. According to its results, farm-specific greenhouse gas emissions rose in the period 2000–2015, due to the fact that farms have become bigger, i.e. their size in hectares and the numbers of animals have increased. When greenhouse gas emissions are compared to production volumes in euros, it turns out that emissions have decreased. Increases in farm size may actually lower the amount of emissions relative to production.

Greenhouse gas emissions per hectare for crop farms have risen slightly, especially in cereal farms in Middle-Finland. For livestock farms, emissions per livestock unit have risen slightly as well, especially in dairy farms in western and northern Finland. Partly this is due to the increase of fodder area.

Emissions relative to production volumes in euros are reduced when production in euro terms increases. Product prices have risen over the long term, and average yields have increased.

Increases in production efficiency make it possible to reduce emissions per kilo of products produced.

But in northern Finland the development has been slower because of the increase of the share of organic soils, says Kristiina Regina, research professor at Luke.

This information can be found on Luke’s EconomyDoctor website under the new Greenhouse Gas Emission calculation service. Its results are based on the results of Luke’s profitability bookkeeping farms. In EconomyDoctor website greenhouse gas emissions can also be viewed alongside the production and financial data of farms.

Emissions relative to production volumes in euros are reduced when production in euro terms increases. Product prices have risen over the long term, and average yields have increased. Photo: Janne Lehtinen The service makes emissions more visible

With the new service, emissions can be viewed regionally or by production types, for example. Emissions are presented as carbon dioxide equivalent to make it possible to compare emissions estimates for different gases. The emissions figures obtained from the service cover methane emissions from the digestion and manure of farm animals, nitrous oxide emissions from manure and soil, as well carbon dioxide emissions from liming, cultivated fields and energy use.

In the online service, results can be viewed in detail by emission source. The aim is to also add changes in the carbon stock of mineral soils to the service. Otherwise, the calculation principles are the same as for Finland’s official greenhouse gas emission calculations.

“This new EconomyDoctor service is an easy-to-use tool for monitoring the climate impact of agriculture. In addition, it helps agricultural entrepreneurs to see the share of total emissions from different emissions sources, which has the potential of promoting more climate-friendly production practices”, says Kristiina Regina.

Information in the EconomyDoctor online service

The average results in the greenhouse gas calculation service (www.luke.fi/economydoctor) were calculated enterprise-specifically for around 800 bookkeeping farms from the year 2000 onwards. Due to weighting, the average results reflect the results of Finland’s 35,000 largest agricultural and horticultural enterprises.  The service is available in Finnish, Swedish and English.

“As the results have been calculated retrospectively from the year 2000, emissions can now not only be compared annually, but also as long-term development trends”, says Arto Latukka, in charge of the online service and EconomyDoctor at Luke.

“The results are calculated by enterprise. In future, the service will be developed so that agricultural entrepreneurs who are part of Luke’s profitability bookkeeping will receive their own farm-specific results, and they will be able to compare them to results from other farm groups. Our aim is to provide information on an annual basis”, says Latukka.

Artikkeli Greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural enterprises have fallen relative to production – Luke’s new greenhouse gas emission calculation service now open julkaistiin ensimmäisen kerran Luonnonvarakeskus.

Rye stocks at ten-year high

According to the recent statistics of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), there were a total of 450 million kilos of cereals in the trade and industry stockpiles at the end of June. Oats had the highest stockpiles. Rye stocks are at a ten-year high.

There were a total of 450 million kilos of domestic and imported cereals in trade and industry stockpiles at the end of June. This was eight per cent more than a year ago. Oats had the highest stockpiles (142 million kilos). The volume of oats is slightly higher than at the same time last year.

Wheat stockpiles totalled 129 million kilos. This is almost 25 per cent more than at the same time in 2017.
“Rye stocks had also grown and they totalled 69 million kilos, which is a ten-year high,” explains Sirpa Karppinen, senior statistician at Luke.

At the same time, barley stocks have decreased and they now total 111 million kilos. This means that the volumes have declined by half, compared with the situation in 2016.

Less wheat entering the market from farms

A total of 1.9 billion kilos of cereals and 62 million kilos of turnip rape and rape were purchased from farms by domestic industry and grain distributors during the 2017/2018 crop year. A total of 91 million kilos of rye was purchased from farms and this was 20 per cent more than in the previous crop year. Barley and oats accounted for the highest volume sold for trade. The purchases of barley have, however, declined to the levels of the 2012/2013 crop year, amounting to 660 million kilos. A total of 590 million kilos of oats were sold on the market, which was the same amount as in the previous crop year.

“Some 524 million kilos of wheat entered the market from farms in the 2017/2018 crop year, which was a ten-year low. Of this total, some 193 million kilos was classified as bread wheat at the time of purchase, which was 100 million kilos less than in the previous crop year,” Karppinen says.

At the same time, about 330 million kilos of this total was classified as feed wheat at the time of purchase, which was 49 million kilos more than in the previous crop year.

Domestic usage 1.4 billion kilos

Finnish industry used nearly 1.4 billion kilos of domestic and imported cereals in the 2017/2018 crop year. The feed industry used a total of 627 million kilos of cereals, while the food industry used 421 million kilos and other industries 340 million kilos. Other industrial use includes malting and the production of ethanol, starch, glue powder and enzymes.

The feed industry used wheat, barley and oats in roughly equal amounts. The use of oats as feed increased by 14 per cent from the previous crop year, while at the same time there was a slight decrease in the use of wheat and barley. Wheat accounted for slightly more than half of all cereals used by the food industry. It was followed by rye and oats (about 20 per cent each) and barley (three per cent).

Cereal prices higher than in 2017

The producer prices of cereals are monitored on a monthly basis. On average, the prices have been higher during the first half of 2018 than during the second half of 2017. In June, the average basic price of bread wheat was EUR 171 per tonne, or 11 per cent higher than a year before. The average producer price of feed barley was EUR 148 per tonne, or 14 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Background to the statistics

Information about cereal purchases is collected on a quarterly basis from all companies in Finland that buy cereals or rape and turnip rape directly from farms. Information about the use of domestic and imported cereals is collected on a quarterly basis from the food and feed industries and other industrial sectors that use cereals. Stockpile information is collected biannually from all companies that have cereals in stock at the end of June or December.

Artikkeli Rye stocks at ten-year high julkaistiin ensimmäisen kerran Luonnonvarakeskus.

In memoriam: Professor Timo Karjalainen

Timo Karjalainen.

Professor Timo Karjalainen passed away on 13 July 2018 due to serious illness.

Timo worked as professor of international forestry, joint professorship between Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and the University of Eastern Finland UEF.

Professor Karjalainen had a key role in his work community. Many Luke employees had a privilege to know and work with him.

Luke commemorates Professor Timo Karjalainen, a popular and distinguished colleague.

You can read Timo’s obituary written by his friends and colleagues here.

Artikkeli In memoriam: Professor Timo Karjalainen julkaistiin ensimmäisen kerran Luonnonvarakeskus.