Better soil, higher yields and a revived Baltic Sea
Organisation: Association of ProAgria Centres
Time: 6/1/2016 – 10/31/2020
ProAgria provides an extensive network of specialists and a wide range of services targeted to rural entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs vary from farmers to small business owners who run businesses mainly in rural Finland. ProAgria serves various customers from several rural sectors including e.g. crop, dairy and meat production, food and tourism, horse farm development, contracting, and bioenergy. Important goals are customers’ success, increasing competitiveness and co-operation through networking.
Healthy soil is a prerequisite for profitable crop production. Good soil quality improves significantly yield security and nutrient utilization especially during extreme weather conditions which appear to occur in present days more frequently than before. The health of the soil is determined physical, chemical and biological factors ranging from good water management to viable soil microbe activity. Diverse crop rotation maintains good soil structure in the long term.
ProAgria provides expertise for soil quality analyses and yield improvement. It is essential to identify appropriate activities for improving soil quality. In addition, cultivation of crops should be allocated to best yielding field plots. For field plots with low yield capacity, the reason for the weak performance should be investigated and a plan for improving water management and soil quality be prepared.
Soil quality analyses
• soil profile and structure, soil type, content of organic material, crumbs, compacted layers
• growth of plant roots
• amount of worms and wormholes
• activity of microbes
• decomposition of organic material
• water conductivity and drainage
• chemical status of the soil, pH and Ca:Mg relation
ProAgria has committed to advance BSAG’s goals to promote the wellbeing of the Baltic Sea. ProAgria has committed to provide expertise in improving soil structure and water management evaluation for 2 000 farms. The aim is to give recommendations for best management practices for at least 100 000 field hectares for higher yield level and better nutrient management by 2020. In addition, ProAgria will together with BSAG simultaneously work with the farms to increase nutrient cycling in agriculture in the future.