Auteur: Virkajärvi P., Rinne M., Mononen J., Niskanen O., Järvenranta K. and Sairanen A.
Jaar van uitgifte: 2015
In Finland milk and beef contribute 50% of the agricultural gross return. The growing season is short, 125-180 days, and therefore the indoor period plays a major role relative to the grazing season. This leads to high capital costs for production (winter-proof housing systems, forage and slurry storage, harvesting machinery). Thus, production demand per animal is high and Finnish cows produce ca. 8,000 kg energy corrected milk per cow per year. Milk production is mostly located in central and northern parts of Finland where climate and geology restrict other agricultural land use options. Finnish dairy farms and herds have been small, but there has been a continuous increase in herd size, currently averaging 33 cows per herd. Grass silage contributes 55-60% of the dietary dry matter. Hard winter conditions limit the choice of forage species; the most important are timothy, meadow fescue and red clover. Potential annual grass yield is 9-12 Mg ha‑1, typically harvested 2 or 3 times per season. Silage is mostly prewilted and additives are commonly used. Concentrates typically include barley, oats and rapeseed meal. Grassland covers 32% of the agricultural land and therefore the forage production practices have strong environmental impacts.