The K-maatalous Experimental Farm in Hauho focuses on the development of varieties and research work promoting sustainable cultivation methods and better domestic food production. The research conducted on the farm aims to provide K-maatalous retailers and farmers with tested solutions for making productive product choices and optimising their harvests.
During the growth season in Finland, the length of the day – the number of hours of light – is longer than in other areas on the globe where agriculture is practiced. Due to the short and intensive growth season, plants must adapt to the special circumstances in our country.
”Over the years, the Experimental Farm has made several agricultural machinery innovations and developed cultivation technology and completely new plants for Finnish production. The new varieties developed and tested here include beef tomatoes, root vegetables for stock and, most recently, autumn barley. The suitability of the varieties must be tested before they can be adopted for cultivation, and this is what we do for the farmers,” says Marjo Serenius, Research Director of the K-maatalous Experimental Farm.
Sustainable cultivation for decades to come
The experimental farm has been operating for over 50 years and also looks further into the future. The farm plans to study how to maintain the soil’s growth potential and keep it productive for future generations.
The future impacts of climate change on agriculture have been considered on the experimental farm.
“According to scenarios, we may be suffering from drought in the spring, wider variations in temperatures and heavy occasional rains. All this makes farming more difficult, though global warming should also enable the cultivation of southern plant varieties here in the north. Nobody knows yet for certain if soybean, for example, could be cultivated at these latitudes in the future,” says Serenius.
Farming may become highly important to Finland. In line with climate change scenarios, the land areas that are currently fertile will dry out or become otherwise unsuitable for farming.
“This means that cultivation has to move to new areas in order to ensure food production around the globe. Maybe farming will, to some extent, be replaced with other means of food production, such as the artificial production of proteins or insects.”