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Promotion of the availability of research results concerning land drainage in Finland and co-operation between farmers, researchers and authorities targeting to a cleaner Baltic Sea

Organisation: Salaojituksen Tukisäätiö sr

Time: 10/19/2015 – 12/31/2024


The ecological status of the Baltic Sea is related to effluents. In Finland, efficient waste water treatment plants have decreased the effluents of point sources considerably. The focus is now on the decreasing of diffuse loads from rural areas. The optimization of the water balance of fields is environmentally sustainable. When the growing conditions are optimal, crops utilize nutrients efficiently thus reducing the risk of nutrient leaching to water courses. In cultivated fields, the water balance depends on the artificial drainage of fields. In addition to other beneficial effects, proper drainage provides the optimal growing conditions for plants and prevents soil degradation by compaction caused by cultivation actions in wet conditions. However, due to the fact that the positive effects of drainage are mainly indirect they may be unrecognized.

Salaojituksen Tukisäätiö has supported research projects related to subsurface drainage of fields since 1984. The projects have been related to various environmental issues such as nutrient loadings, the leaching of harmful elements or compounds as well as erosion and soil compaction. Beside this activity many drainage related studies have been carried out by other actors. The research results have been published in diverse national and international journals. Some of the reports are only in Finnish or Swedish, but at least most of them contain an abstract in English. In order to improve the possibility of researchers and the public all around the Baltic Sea to better access and utilize the results, Salaojituksen Tukisäätiö will establish a land drainage research databank. This open access database enables the search of drainage related studies and their results in Finnish, Swedish and English with links to the original research reports. In addition Salaojituksen Tukisäätiö will arrange national and international seminars where all actors such as farmers, researchers, and authorities are welcome to discuss the best water management practices of fields in relation to a cleaner Baltic Sea. The foundation plans to support the publishing of a guidebook which deals with the best practices of the water balance optimization of fields and their relation to the environment.