Specific problems and solutions in climate change adaptation in North Savo region

Heikki Sakari Lehtonen, Pellervo Kässi, Panu Korhonen, Olli Niskanen, Reimund Rötter, Taru Palosuo, Xing Liu, Tuomo Purola


Crop production for feed dominates land use in North Savo in eastern Finland. The value of dairy and beef production is appr. 70 % of the total value of agricultural production of the region. In climate change adaptation research we are especially interested in dairy and meat sectors, which are directly dependent on the development of productivity of crop production. Climate change implies changes in cereals and forage crop yields and nutritive quality. There are most likely increasing problems and risks related to overwintering and growing periods. Grass silage is mainly self-produced on farms and most often there is no market for silage. Silage production and use are vulnerable to changes in local climate, because lost yield cannot be easily replaced from market. Risks and costs due to increasing inter-annual yield volatility can be reduced by good management practices, such as crop rotation, plant protection, soil improvements and better crop protection against plant diseases.

However the profitability of such measures is dependent on market and policy conditions. Nevertheless new cultivars and species, as well as various options for production and risk management, are most likely needed in future climate. Some adaptations may have multiple benefits which however may realize only in medium or long run. It is important to safeguard the most important and obviously needed adaptations, and identify market and socio-economic conditions which inhibit farmers from necessary adaptations and lead to reduced productivity and increased production costs.

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