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Higher Crop Yield Levels in the North Savo Region—Means and Challenges Indicated by Farmers and Their Close Stakeholders

Heikki Lehtonen (), Taru Palosuo (), Panu Korhonen () and Xing Liu ()
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Heikki Lehtonen: Bioeconomy Policies and Markets, Bioeconomy and Environment, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Latokartanonkaari 9, FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland
Taru Palosuo: Management and Inventory of Carbon Cycles, Bioeconomy and Environment, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Latokartanonkaari 9, FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland
Panu Korhonen: Milk Production, Bioeconomy and Environment, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Halolantie 31 A, FI-71750 Maaninka, Finland
Xing Liu: Bioeconomy Policies and Markets, Bioeconomy and Environment, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Latokartanonkaari 9, FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland

Agriculture, 2018, vol. 8, issue 7, 1-14

Abstract: The sustainable intensification of farming systems is expected to increase food supply and reduce the negative environmental effects of agriculture. It is also seen as an effective adaptation and mitigation strategy in response to climate change. Our aim is to determine farmers’ and other stakeholders’ views on how higher crop yields can be achieved from their currently low levels. This was investigated in two stakeholder workshops arranged in North Savo, Finland, in 2014 and 2016. The workshop participants, who were organized in discussion groups, considered some agricultural policies to discourage the improvement of crop yields. Policy schemes were seen to support extensification and reduce the motivation for yield improvements. However, the most important means for higher crop yields indicated by workshop participants were improved soil conditions with drainage and liming, in addition to improved crop rotations, better sowing techniques, careful selection of cultivars and forage grass mixtures. Suggested solutions for improving both crop yields and farm income also included optimized use of inputs, focusing production at the most productive fields and actively developed farming skills and knowledge sharing. These latter aspects were more pronounced in 2016, suggesting that farmers’ skills are increasingly being perceived as important.

Keywords: Northern Europe; forage grasslands; spring cereals; drainage; soil conditions; farm management; agricultural policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q1 Q10 Q11 Q12 Q13 Q14 Q15 Q16 Q17 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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