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Browsing by discipline "Kasvintuotantotieteet"

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  • Naukkarinen, Veera (2019)
    Soil carbon (C) is a key part of the global C cycle. Agricultural soils can be both source and sink of the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). In the Mid-Hill region of Nepal, a lot of the historical soil C has been lost in consequence of the conversion of forests into agricultural lands. However, there is huge potential to increase the soil C sink through appropriate farming practices. The region is characterized by mountainous topography with various microclimates found within a short distance. Thus, also the farming systems differ from each other, which further contributes to the altering soil C accumulation in the region. This Master's thesis is linked to the project Building Climate Resilience in Farming Systems in Sloping Lands of South Asia, supported by Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN). The aim of the study was to find out what is the present soil carbon status in two predominant farming systems in the study site in Kavre, located in the Mid-Hill region, and what are the farming practices contributing to soil C. Soil samples from upland and lowland were taken into the analysis complemented with the interviews of the farmers and the field observations. The effect of the farming practices was investigated in three systems, including the both farming systems, upland solely, and lowland solely. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied for studying the effects of the categorically measured farming practices. The effects of the farming practices classified as continuous variables were measured with the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The results showed that the soil C content was significantly higher in the upland system compared with lowlands. Vegetation cover, agroforestry, and the weed management with weed residues left to the fields were associated with higher soil C stocks. Negative relationship between the chemical fertilizer use and soil C sequestration was found. The use of organic fertilizers, tillage method, tilling intensity, crop residue management and irrigation did not show significant effect on soil C. This study suggests that the aboveground vegetation cover is an integral part of the soil C sequestration in the sloping agricultural lands in the Mid-Hill region of Nepal. Nonetheless, further research with replication and a larger sample size is needed in order to fully investigate the farming practices contributing to the greater soil C contents in the region.
  • Karjalainen, Satu (2019)
    Sphagnum moss could be used as a substitute for Sphagnum peat as a growing medium. It has the same positive physical properties as peat and it is also a more sustainable option. However, there are some indications that Sphagnum moss may have some inhibitory effects on vascular plant seed germination and seedling development. The aim of this study was to find out whether this is true and due to the low pH of different Sphagnum moss species. The tested moss species were Sphagnum fallax, Sphagnum medium, Sphagnum rubellum and Sphagnum spp. The seed germination on Sphagnum moss substrate was tested with lettuce, radish, basil, pine and ryegrass. Also, two additional seed germination experiments were done with lettuce. Seedling growth experiment on Sphagnum substrate was tested with lettuce. The first germination experiments indicated that the dicotyledon species basil, radish and lettuce are sensitive to the allelopathic effect caused by Sphagnum moss. In the case of ryegrass and pine no indication of seed germination inhibition was found. The two additional germination experiments confirmed that Sphagnum moss and white peat substrates and Sphagnum moss and white peat organic matter/water extracts were inhibiting lettuce seed germination. Added lime didn’t conclusively explain the inhibition in germination percentages of Sphagnum moss substrate when compared to control treatment gauze. Only in the case of radish the raised pH had positive effect on the germination percentage. Therefor it was concluded that the low germination percentage is not explained only by the naturally low pH of Sphagnum mosses and Sphagnum mosses’ other characteristics should be investigated in the future. In the seedling growth experiment done with lettuce on Sphagnum medium growing medium there was no indication of allelopathic effect on seed germination or seedling development. The allelopathic compounds were thought to have been lost in this experiment through leaching when the substrates were watered.
  • Koppelmäki, Kari (2016)
    Rikkakasvit ovat yksi suurimmista luomuviljelyn satoa rajoittavista tekijöistä. Tavallisesti luomutiloilla käytetyllä mekaanisella rikkakasvin torjunnalla on useita negatiivia ympäristövaikutuksia. Peitekasvien viljely on vaihtoehto mekaaniselle rikkakasvien hallinnalle ja samalla se tukee monia muita maataloudelle annettuja ympäristötavoitteita. Pohjoisissa oloissa yleisin tapa toteuttaa peitekasvien viljelyä on kylvää ne satokasvin aluskasviksi. Tässä tutkimuksessa selvitettiin aluskasvien vaikutusta ohran (Hordeum vulgare) ja rikkakasvien kasvuun Jokiosissa sijaitsevilla koekentillä. Lintupajussa oli kaksi erillistä koe-asetelmaa, joista toinen oli lannoittamaton ja toinen naudan lietelannalla lannoitettu (50 N kg/ha) koeasetelma. Kokeessa oli neljä aluskasvikäsittelyä, joita verrattiin aluskasvittomaan käsittelyyn. Lamminkylän lannoittamaton koeasetelma sisälsi viisi eri aluskasvikäsittelyä ja aluskasvittoman käsittelyn. Lisärikkakasviksi koeruutujen päihin kylvettiin rypsiä (Brassica rapa subsp. Oleifera). Aluskasvien vaikutusta selvitettiin koeruuduilta heinä- ja elokuussa otetuista kasvustonäytteistä, joista mitattiin ohran, rikkakasvien ja aluskasvien peittävyyttä, maanpäällistä biomassaa sekä tiheyttä. Aluskasvit tuottivat melko suuren maanpäällisen biomassan, mutta niillä ei ollut vaiku-tusta rikkakasvien maanpäällisen biomassaan. Aluskasviksi kylvetty ruis vähensi ohran sa-toa kolmanneksella, mutta muilla aluskasveilla ei ollut vaikutusta ohran jyväsatoon. Tulosten perusteella palkokasvit soveltuvat suurillakin siemenmäärillä ohran aluskasviksi luonnonmukaisessa viljelyssä. Tarvitaan kuitenkin monivuotisia kenttäkokeita, joista saa-daan tuloksia erilaisista viljelykierroista, maalajeilta ja sääolosuhteista.
  • Eusuf, Saad Bin (2020)
    Stress response in plants is influenced by several external and internal factors and is executed in a modular way. Environmental stimuli or stress is sensed by cellular receptors and the signal is transduced inside cell via the phospho-activation of highly conserved intracellular signaling cascades like mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades. The signal then activates biosynthesis pathways of major stress response hormones like Salicylic acid (SA). In Arabidopsis about 90% SA is synthesized via isochorismate pathway and Isochorismate synthase 1 (ICS1) is a rate limiting enzyme in this pathway. In this study, goal was to select transgenic ICS1 (homozygous) candidate lines from parent ICS1-CFP by selective regeneration. Then, by molecular and physiological characterization of transgenic ICS1-CFP plants, the function of ICS1 phosphorylation, more specifically, impact of different photoperiods (Long day; LD and Short day; SD) and stress conditions on ICS1 activity would have resolved. However, there were no homozygous candidate line from any parent ICS1-CFP plants after several screening. Nevertheless, ozone treated stress sensitivity test was performed with heterozygous ICS1-CFP candidate plants (T2 generation). Ozone treated stress depends on stomata factor because ozone enters into plants through stomata. Therefore, stomata index analysis was performed with sid2 and WT (Col-0) phenotypes and grown in LD and SD conditions. Since, stomata number was different between LD and SD plants of both sid2 and WT phenotypes, a different method named Xanthine-Xanthine oxidase (X/XO) treatment was applied that induce oxidative stress regardless of stomata. Although, WT and sid2 had shown sensitivity to the treatment, the overall cell death percentage was very low. Lastly, our aim was to observe the impact of different photoperiods on the activation of two particular MAPKs i.e MPK3 and MPK6 under stress conditions. The phosphorylated (P-MPK3 and P-MPK6) are found abundantly in ozone treated plants as an early response. In this experiment, plants were grown in both LD and SD, stressed with both ozone and X/XO treatments, the activation of P-MPK3 and P-MPK6 was observed by protein level analysis (western blotting) in detailed time course. Although, the activation was visualized in both LD and SD plants, qualitatively the pattern was similar between day type samples and activation signal was very weak in both stress methods. In addition, anti-ICS1 antibody provided by Agrsera TM was tested for its efficiency to detect endogenous ICS1 protein in plants in two experimental set-up. Although the antibody could detect overexpressed ICS1-CFP protein in samples, it was not that efficient to detect endogenous ICS1 in any of the experiments.
  • Christersson, Jenni (2015)
    This case study sheds new light on rural water use and related social, aconomic and environmental dimensions and proposes government intervention in order to ensure water rights and protect public value of fairness. The aim is to highlight farmers’ perspectives on irrigation water use and related obstacles, and specifically distinguish if views are connected to farmers’ underlying socioeconomic or agro-ecologic factors. For further considerations adaptive capacity of community for irrigation water fees is explored. The research material consists of semi-structured interviews for farmers (n=63), government organizations (n=3) and agricultural enterprises (n=2). Economic groups were formed via analysis of asset-based economic status. Grouping based on agricultural water use was conducted through categorization. Costs and lack of knowledge were identified as the main barriers for adopting advanced irrigation technology. The study showed prevailing allocation system is in need of reformation. When designing rural policy, farmers’ perceptions should be respected. Water allocation is considered unfair community-wide and social conflicts are largely faced. Those who do not suffer from conflicts are most commonly rich. Technology transfer offer potential benefits, but community needs to be mobilized. Grouping based on irrigation water usage may be used for targeting policies. Economic grouping may be used for distinguishing farmers’ behavior when designing change in economic conditions or conflict resolution strategy. The complementary role of this study is to bring out special focus on development for institutional capacity-building; strengthening the forcing nature of laws and user rights. This may reduce the attractiveness for corruption in the process. Under these conditions, the greatest benefits may be obtained by giving top priority instead of irrigation improvement, but conflict mediation and establishment of water markets.
  • Bada, Bolajoko (2017)
    This research was conducted to examine the effect of biochar on drought tolerance and growth of a grain crop. Biochar is a multipurpose charcoal that heals the soil and promotes crop yield. The experiment was part of University of Helsinki biochar research during the summer and autumn of 2011. The effect of biochar was studied in a greenhouse experiment to determine how well it can improve sorghum (Sorghum bicolor Moench) yield. The experimental factors were amount of water given at low, intermediate and full watering levels, and the absence or presence of Acacia-biochar at level of 10 t/ha in the pots of soil used. The number of leaves per plant, leaf surface area, number of panicles, number of grains per panicle, plant and panicle height, root biomass, and whole plant (above ground) biomass was obtained. The plants were grown in a high greenhouse temperature to mimic the Sudanese extreme weather temperature according to the Khartoum Sudan weather forecast at the time of the experiment. The plants got same amount of water from cultivation until the emergence of 5 leaves. Early drought was proposed to determine its effect as the plant move from vegetative to reproductive stage and the effect of biochar on the soil water holding capacity (WHC). The drought stress started at 5 leaf stage of the plant life cycle. The data were analyzed using 2-way analysis of variance (Anova) statistical tools in SPSS (version 20.0, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) software. Drought stress affected panicle development, grain yield, plant height, leaf surface area and overall biomass yield. Grain yield and whole plant biomass weight was higher in non-stressed plants. The results indicated no relief to drought stress by biochar addition. In this experiment, the addition of low biochar might be responsible for it inefficiency.
  • Metsärinne, Vilma (2017)
    Biokaasulaitos tuottaa biokaasua energiakäyttöön ja mädätettä lannoitteeksi kasvintuotantoon. Biokaasulaitos on täten monipuolinen tuotanto- ja kierrätyslaitos. Tavanomainen energian- ja lannoitteiden tuotanto on hyvin energiaintensiivistä ja uusiutumattomia energianlähteitä käyttävää. Biokaasulaitos mahdollistaa hajautetun energiantuotannon ja lannoitteiden tuottamisen uusiutuvista raaka-aineista, monesti raaka-aineista jotka olisivat muuten jätteeksi luokiteltavaa. Tutkimuksen tarkoitus oli selvittää, mitä Suomessa toimivissa biokasulaitoksissa käytetään syötteinä, kuinka paljon biokaasua saadaan tuotettua, millaisia ovat mädätteen ravinnepitoisuudet ja kuinka viljelijät käyttävät mädätettä pelloilla. Tutkimuksessa selvitettiin myös, millainen olisi ideaali biokaasulaitoksen toiminta kaasuntuoton, mädätteen jatkokäytön ja laitoksen toiminnan kannalta. Kuinka biokaasuntuotantoa voitaisiin Suomessa lisätä ja parantaa energia- ja ravinneomavaraisuutta? Tarkoitus oli kerätä tietoa sekä keskitetysti toimivilta biokaasulaitoksilta että maatilojen omilta biokaasulaitoksilta. Tavoitteena oli vertailla eri laitosten antamia tietoja ja selvittää millaisia eroja laitoksista löytyy. Tutkimus toteutettiin internetpohjaisena kyselynä. Kyselypohjia oli kaksi: toinen biokaasulaitoksille ja toinen maatiloille, joilla joko oli oma biokaasulaitos tai tilalla oli joskus käytetty mädätettä lannoitteena. Yhteensä vastaajia kertyi 14 kappaletta. Mädätteiden pääravinnepitoisuuksissa oli eroja, vaihteluväli oli 2,8-16 ja keskiarvo 6,47 kokonaistypen osalta. Niissä mädätteissä, joissa oli korkea kokonaistyppipitoisuus, oli myös korkea kokonaisfosforipitoisuus (R2=0,56; p=0,013). Tuloksista ei voi tehdä selkeitä johtopäätöksiä sen suhteen, mikä tai mitkä olisivat parhaita syöteaineita. Syöteaineet olivat vaihtelevia, ja samanlaatuisilla syöteaineilla kaasuntuotanto ja mädätteen laatu erosivat kahdella eri laitoksella.
  • Pero, Maria (2015)
    Brown-heart disorder in rutabaga is a boron deficiency syndrome that renders the inside of the roots brown and makes the crop unfit for market. The connection between boron deficiency and brown-heart was first reported in 1930’s. Brown-heart continues to be a concern for rutabaga growers all over the World, especially in Northern Europe, Canada, United States of America and New Zealand. The aim of this thesis was to compare the effects of various methods of applying boron, in terms of rutabaga yield and brown-heart. The field experiments were done in 2013 and 2014 on Räpi research farm of Apetit Ruoka Oyj in municipality of Köyliö, as part of collaboration between Apetit Ruoka Oyj and Yara Suomi Oyj. The companies aimed to find the best fertilizer solution for the prevention of brown-heart in rutabagas. Treatments were either fertilizer placement or broadcast application. In addition, foliar spraying treatment was used. Nutrient levels of the soil were analysed before planting and after harvest. The nutrient levels of rutabaga leaves before harvest, and nutrient levels of rutabaga roots by the time of harvest, were analysed. Additionally, the yield and number of rutabagas with brown-heart were determined. In experiments done in 2013, the effect of boron treatment on yield was statistically insignificant. In 2014, the fertilizer placement increased the yield as compared to broadcast application. In 2013 the number rutabagas with brown-heart disorder was significantly less within the samples treated with fertilizer placement, as compared to samples treated with broadcast applications. In 2014 the overall number of rutabagas with brown-heart was low, and the differences between treatments were statistically insignificant. Of the rutabaga boron treatments compared in this thesis, the fertilizer placement was more efficient than the broadcast application. Generally, the effect of foliar spraying treatment on yield or quality of the rutabagas was insignificant. In order to achieve high quality rutabaga crop, applying boron with fertilizer placement simultaneous to sowing, is recommended.
  • Suominen, Pauliina (2015)
    Porkkana on sekä tuotannollisesti että kotitalouksien kulutuksen kannalta merkittävin avomaanvihannes Suomessa. Porkkanan merkittävin tuholainen on porkkanakemppi (Trioza apicalis), jonka havaittiin vuonna 2009 toimivan myös porkkanaa infektoivan Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLs) -bakteerin levittäjänä. Merkittävimmät porkkananviljelyalueet sijaitsevat Lounais-Suomessa, joka on myös erityisen kemppiongelmaista aluetta. Alueella on havaittu myös runsaasti CLs-bakteerin aiheuttamaa voimakkaan punaista värittymisoiretta porkkanan lehdissä. Tämän tutkimuksen tavoitteena oli kartoittaa CLs-bakteeritaudin esiintyvyys Lounais-Suomen porkkanaviljelmillä ja määrittää CLs-positiivisten porkkanoiden osuudet eri oireryhmissä: oireettomat, kempinsyömät ja kempinsyömät värittymisoireiset. Tutkimuksen aikana pyrittiin kehittämään edullinen ja toimintavarma PCR-menetelmä CLs-bakteerin laajamittaiseen diagnostiikkaan soveltuvaksi. Lisäksi tutkimuksessa haluttiin tarkastella porkkanakemppien määrien vaihtelua lähekkäisillä porkkanapelloilla Kanta-Hämeessä. Tämän tutkielman CLs-kartoitus oli osa Maa -ja metsätalousministeriön rahoittamaa hanketta kartoittaa taudin levinneisyys Suomessa. Elintarviketurvallisuusviraston näytteeksi keräämät porkkanakasvit käsiteltiin Helsingin yliopiston kasvipatologian laboratoriossa, jossa näytteistä eristettiin DNA:ta ja tehtiin PCR-testit CLs-bakteerin toteamiseksi. Geelissä elektroforeesilla erotellut PCR-tuotteet kuvattiin UV-valossa ja CLs-positiiviset todennettiin vertaamalla PCR-tuotetta molekyylipainostandardiin ja positiiviseen kontrolliin. Toimintavarmimmaksi PCR-menetelmäksi osoittautui kuumassa lämpötilassa toimiva entsyymi ja lyhyt PCR-ohjelma. Kartoitustulokset osoittivat, että tautia esiintyy Lounais-Suomessa runsaasti, sillä suurin osa värittymisoireisista porkkanoista todettiin CLs-positiivisiksi. Sekä taudin että kemppien määrä osoittautui olevan Lounais-Suomessa suurempi kuin vertailualueilla Itä-Suomessa ja Pohjanmaalla. Kemppien määrissä läheisillä pelloilla havaittiin suurta vaihtelevuutta. Tällä hetkellä ainoa keino torjua CLs-bakteeritautia on keskittyä kemppien torjuntaan. Kemppipopulaatiot ovat kuitenkin tulleet viime vuosina kestävämmiksi yleisesti käytetyille torjunta-aineille, mikä luo uusia leviämismahdollisuuksia myös CLs-bakteerille.
  • Wickström, Annika (2020)
    'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' (CLso) is a frequent bacterium in carrot in southern and western Finland but is also occurring in South Savonia. The bacterium is unculturable, lives as a parasite and multiplies in the phloem vessels and is transmitted by the carrot psyllid Trioza apicalis. In Spain, France and Finland the bacterium has also been found in parsnip. The aim of this thesis was to study the occurrence and genetic variation of this bacterium in carrot and parsnip in Satakunda, Southwest Finland and South Savonia from such parsnip and carrot fields where psyllids and discolouration symptoms in foliage have been detected. All the samples were collected based on foliar discolouration symptoms. Four wild plants from the family Polygonaceae were collected from one carrot field and one parsnip field in Satakunda. These plants showed similar foliar discolouration as the carrots. Other criteria for collecting the carrot samples was based on occurrence of psyllids and leaf curling. Samples of parsnips were collected from vegetable farms, where parsnips were grown nearby the carrot fields and where psyllids had been detected. The samples were analysed by real-time PCR with primer combination specific to CLso. Those samples that had high amounts of bacteria were chosen for sequencing and detection of haplotype. CLso was detected in 62,9 % of the carrot samples, in 90,8 % of the parsnip foliage samples and in 76,9 % of the parsnip root samples and in all the samples of symptomatic wild plants. Based on the ftsZ gene sequence, a new haplotype of CLso, named haplotype H, was identified in three of the parsnip samples from Satakunda and in two samples of pale persicaria (Persicaria lapathifolia (L.) Gray). This is the ninth haplotype of CLso identified.
  • Wang, Kai (2015)
    Yeasts have huge agricultural, medical and economic importance, and consequently, their isolation and identification are needed for more potential microbe resources. Studies of plant-microbe interaction have revealed many molecular mechanisms using mostly filamentous fungi, bacteria and viruses. However, our knowledge of yeast-plant interactions is lagging behind and there is a lack of yeasts known to interact with the model plant Arabidopsis. There were two major aims of this study: isolating and identifying the yeasts from wild growing Arabidopsis, as well as screening possible immunity modulation patterns of the strains against Arabidopsis. More than 70 yeast strains were isolated and identified belonging to 6 genera, suggesting the huge abundance of yeast diversity on plant surface. With the help of phylogenetic analysis of sequences from the internal transcription spacer (ITS) and D1/D2 region of 28S ribosomal DNA large subunit, one strain within the genus of Protomyces is proposed to be a novel species. Further carbon assimilation tests confirmed this, demonstrating differences of assimilation patterns between the new strain and all well described species in this genus. Another interesting finding was the possible pathogenicity of several yeast strains. Significant disease-like symptoms appeared on Arabidopsis five days after infiltration. Additionally, two strains synthesized auxin or related compounds in culture. Although more infections are necessary to confirm the pathogenicity, these have potential for development of new systems to study plant-yeast interactions with the genetic model plant Arabidopsis. The mechanism of yeast pathogenesis will provide new knowledge about plant defense and further assists plant breeding to produce crops with more durable resistance.
  • Liu, Mengxia (2016)
    Conifers are used for forest plantations and as landscape trees. Norway spruce is the main softwood species in Finland and can occasionally be observed in urban areas. However, root rots of conifer trees caused by Heterobasidion annosum leads to huge economic losses not only in Finland but also in other European countries. Due to the availability of complete genome sequence for both host and pathogen, in this study using Norway spruce and its root rot pathogen (Heterobasidion annosum) as an experimental model, the host-pathogen interaction was investigated. Conifer trees have established a variety of defense mechanisms to repel microbial infections, including constitutive barriers, accumulation of antimicrobial chemicals, activation of signaling pathways and induction of defense-related compounds resulted from an intra-organismic response including cell death. In the conifer pathosystem, cell death associated necrotic browning reactions promote tissue colonization by necrotrophic pathogens such as Heterobasidion annosum. By contrast, in crop plants, cell death associated hypersensitive response (HR) is known to inhibit invasive growth of biotrophic pathogens. However, not much is known about the chemical and molecular characteristics of necrotic cell death responses observed in different developmental stages of conifers from seedlings to mature trees. In addition, the term reaction zone is often used to describe responses of tree tissues bordering the heartwood to pathogenic infections, but nothing is known on whether there are any similarities between the necrosis response and reaction zone. To investigate this, Norway spruce at different developmental stages (seedlings, young trees and mature trees) were challenged with Heterobasidion parviporum. Six major indicators were assayed: necrosis lesions, cell death, pH, reaction zone, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and expressions of defense-related genes (Per1, Per2, LAC, JAZ1, OPR, and STS2). Increased transcript levels of the following genes Per1, Per2, LAC and JAZ1 were documented in seedlings but higher expression of Per2 and LAC was recorded in mature trees. Results revealed that all infected tissues were strongly necrotic or had increased lesion size. This is accompanied by increasing pH units up to 6.0 similar to levels documented in the reaction zone. Furthermore, ROS-generating peroxidase activity increased in infected tissues compared to the control. All these changes were found to be similar to observations in the reaction zone of woody trees. However, cell death was only measured in seedling roots and the method needs to be optimized for woody tissues. Further tests are therefore required for the clarification of relationship between necrotic cell death in seedling plants and reaction zone responses in mature woody tissues.
  • Bergholm, Jenna (2020)
    Food chains have lengthened on account of globalization during the last decades which has led to multiple sustainability concerns related to transport emissions, food security, externalization of environmental costs, consumers’ alienation from agriculture and the origin of food and the economic situation of farmers. Organic and local food, farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture are seen as some ways to enhance the sustainability of the food system. Globally, there is in abundance research about farmers’ markets and their customers. However, there is still relatively little research from Finland about farmers’ markets. In this master’s thesis, the socio-economic and demographic markers of rural event visitors were analyzed to determine their relation to purchasing and event visiting habits. The empirical data were collected through use of a survey administered at a recurrent market event. The results showed that 75.4% of the respondents were female, and that the average age among respondents was 51.8 years. In addition, 63% were living in Hyvinkää, where the event was organized. Domestic origin, price, and healthiness were the most commonly mentioned factors that affected the buying decisions. It was discovered that age had an influence on buying organic, for example, respondents in the age groups 20–29 and 30–39 were buying more organic food compared to other groups, and respondents in age group 70+ less compared to other groups (p=0.003). Income, education, or individual family composition did not affect the tendency to buy organic.
  • Öhman, Jenny (2016)
    The EC regulations for organic farming (OF), No. 834/2007 and 889/2008, apply in all EU countries but still, different rules are being implemented. Every country in the EU has its own certification bodies and certification systems, and the interpretation of the EC regulations for organic farming is done nationally. The purpose of this research is to fill a gap in the understanding how rules of organic farming differ between three countries in Europe: Finland, Sweden and Austria. In particular, this study aims to examine the role of the national interpretations of the EC regulations for OF at different stages in the food supply chain. The main interest lies in why these differences in interpretation occur, and what interpretations are made at what stage in the system. The methods chosen for answering the research questions is a literature review, a survey with qualitative interviews for gathering relevant topics from the field and finally a comparison of the EC regulations for OF and the national legislations and guidelines in Finland, Sweden and Austria for these topics. This study shows that there are many topics in OF where the EC regulations for OF leave room for variable interpretations and hence, it is unclear to the implementing authorities in the member states how to interpret these. The most significant result is that some of the differences in interpretation lead to the organic farmers being unequal across the countries. Even for statements with clear reasoning and precise instructions there can be significant differences in interpretation between the countries. Based on the results of this research I can state that the farmers in OF would benefit from a more harmonized landscape of OF rules on EU-level, as this would lower the inequality between farmers in OF in the different countries. One mean of doing this would be to reduce the number of statements of qualitative character.
  • Zrim, Jure (2016)
    Soil carbon sequestration is one of the most promising solutions to mitigate climate change. Biochar, a carbon rich solid obtained via pyrolysis and intended to be used as a soil amendment material, is currently the most efficient tool available for carbon sequestration. Further, some biochars can also improve soil properties and increase crop yield. Before the concept of using biochar as soil amendment can be implemented in a bigger scale, it is necessary to know how biochar affects soil fauna in long term. Earthworms present one of the largest animal biomass in soil. They feed on decomposed organic matter and also biochar and transfer it to pedosphere. Effect of biochars and fertilizers on earthworm abundance, biomass and community structure was studied in two field experiments, one on fertile Stagnosol and other on nutrient deficient Umbrisol. In both study sites, split-plot experiments with four replicates were arranged. The earthworms were sampled more than four and five years after the biochar have been applied to the fields on Umbrisol and Stagnosol, respectively. No significant effect of biochar or fertilizer treatments or their interactions were found on earthworms communities, suggesting biochar to be a safe method for carbon sequestration in Southern Finland conditions. The composition of earthworm species was typical for Finnish agricultural land with A. caliginosa dominating in both soils. However further research on long-term experiments are needed, in order to fully understand mechanisms of biochar effects on earthworms.
  • Kyllönen, Tiiu (2018)
    The faba bean (Vicia faba L.) has increased its cultivation area in Finland because of its high protein content. It replaces some of the imported plant proteins, such as soybean (Glycine max) meal, as feed for livestock and has increasing interest as an ingredient in plant-based meat-substitute food products. The faba bean is partly self-pollinating, but insect pollination has been shown to increase yield and reliability. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are one of the most important pollinators for the bean in Finland. The aims of the thesis were to study the effects of honeybee interactions with faba bean flowers and pollination. This was done mainly via a cage experiment about the pod count and distribution along the plant stem, with and without pollination from honeybees. The second and third aims were to find out more about the honeybee behaviour on the faba bean flowers and the abundance of pollinators and species richness on faba bean fields. For these parts a field survey was conducted on eight different faba bean fields in Southern Finland. The increase in pod count following bee activity was found to be as high as 65% and the increase in pods per node 19%. The distribution of the pods was increased towards the middle of the plant in the plants that were insect pollinated, compared to the plants that were not. There was a strong correlation between the number of honeybees (Apis mellifera) on the fields and the pod counts per plant node. Honeybees visited 1.5 flowers per plant on average and frontal visits constituted 55% of all visits recorded. Pollinator numbers and species diversity varied greatly from field to field. The results show that pollination by of honeybees benefits faba bean yield. They give a good understanding into the potential yield effects and provide pointers for future research on the topic. The study is aimed to prepare the background for introducing a better basis for cooperation between beekeepers and faba bean farmers. The main goal is to increase knowledge about honeybee pollination effects on the faba bean yield and give a solid start into building prospects for commercial pollination services in Finnish agriculture in general. The study was done in collaboration with The Finnish Beekeeping Association.
  • Kai Cheong, Ng (2016)
    Garden strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) is one of the most important soft fruit crops in Finland. Every year, over ten thousand tonnes of strawberries are produced, but in many cases they are affected by grey mould disease (Botrytis cinerea Pers.). Grey mould disease is absolutely devastating for strawberry, as it can affect up to 80% of the yield. Although chemical fungicides are widely used in controlling the pathogen, there are increasing concerns about its safety and environmental impacts. The use of disease resistant cultivars and biological control agents (BCAs) are two of the alternative methods in controlling grey mould disease. However, the breeding progress of resistant cultivars is limited by the selection methods used, while the BCAs require more characterization. In this study, we evaluated strawberry grey mould resistance by inoculation, and tested the amount of Pseudomonas fluorescens in strawberry after biological control application. Inoculation of strawberry is feasible, efficient and reliable to replace the conventional grey mould evaluation method. Foliage application of P. fluorescens did not significantly change the endophyte content of strawberry, proposing that the use of the bacterium is safe from causing any bacterial contamination.
  • Nurmi, Elina (2015)
    Agriculture and other human activity has considerably affected the nitrogen cycle, which initially doubled the amount of nitrogen on the planet. The most well-known consequence of this phenomenon is eutrophication. The objective of this thesis was to study nutrient balances and their usefulness in evaluating the nitrogen usage in beef cattle farms, the nitrogen load and nitrogen use efficiency in those farms as well as how well the farms utilize their inputs. This study based on three organic beef cattle farms which took part in BERAS Implementation –project in 2010-2013. All farms specialized in suckler cow production. The data was collected in July-August 2013 when the farmers were interviewed about their inputs and outputs during the years 2010-2012. On the basis of this information different type of nitrogen balances were calculated. The farm gate nitrogen balances were 27, 36 and 70 kg/ha. Except for the last one, the feed self-sufficiency of the farms was very high, more than 90 %. The farm with the largest nitrogen surplus utilized a considerable amount of input from outside the farm which reflected in low feed self-sufficiency (64 %). The other two with smaller surpluses received excellent primary nutrient ratios (1,38 and 1,40) which indicates active nutrient recycling. However, despite of these results, it is important to remember that nutrient balances should be viewed with a critical eye. The uncertainties primarily concern the amount of biologically fixated nitrogen and the amount of yields of cultivated plants. These variables were taken into consideration in sensitivity analysis. Instead of nutrient balances, it would more useful to draw attention to other indicators such as feed self-sufficiency or animal unit density when evaluating nitrogen load of farms. The efficiency of beef cattle production depends also on how the production is actually implemented. It is especially important to acknowledge the importance of feeding and manure handling. The feed conversion ratio is always low in beef production since it is less than 10 %. Nevertheless, there are other benefits in cattle breeding such as utilization of natural pastures and cultivation of perennial grasses which not only are excellent for soil fertility, but also decrease nutrient leaching.
  • Lassi, Juho (2020)
    Oat (Avena Sativa L.) has been second most cultivated crop in Finland. Oat has been Finland’s most exported grain for several years and its use for human consumption has increased because of dietary benefits. Oat is well suited for northern growing conditions and there has been long tradition for oat breeding in Finland. High yield has been important breeding goal but because the new use purposes, also other quality parameters have more attention in breeding. According to statistics, the average oat yield was 3293 kg/ha in years 2002-2016. The average yields have not changed in past 15 years in farm level. Yield and quality formation of four Finnish oat varieties (Iiris, Meeri, Niklas ja Steinar) and two Central-European oat varieties (Canyon and Harmony) was studied during growing season 2016. The field experiment was carried out at Elimäki in southern Finland. Different characteristics were measured and calculated during the growing season. Dry matter accumulation, growing rhythm, lodging and plant height were determined. Also yield, harvest index, grain filling rate, grading, thousand kernel weight and other quality parameters were determined. Suitability for milling use were studied from the oat varieties. Study was conducted in field as a completely randomized plot experiment with three replicants. Number of growing days correlated positively with yield. The last maturated varieties, Canyon, Harmony and Iiris, produced highest yield and best quality. These highest yielding varieties did not thoug have the highest harvest index. Length of grain filling period correlated positively with thousand kernel weight and grading result which all are also important quality features for oat milling industry. A correlation between grain size and hectoliter weight was not observed in this study.
  • Pousi, Tomi (2017)
    In previous studies of Natural Resources Institute Finland it was noticed that Sphagnum moss had almost as good growing media properties as the white horticultural peat. In addition the Sphagnum moss based growing media prevented efficiently seed-borne Alternaria seedling blight and mosses were not molded with Peziza ostracoderma Korf that appears commonly on white horticultural peat. This thesis was part of the project of Natural Resources Institute entitled “Disease suppressive features of Sphagnum mosses”. The research aimed to survey the existence and applicability of fungistasis of Sphagnum moss as growing media. In the greenhouse experiments comparisons were made between mosses from six different sphagnum bog origins in their ability to suppress damping-off caused by Alternaria, Rhizoctonia and Pythium. Disease suppressive features of four sphagnum bogs mosses from three harvest depths were also determined. In the end of experiments the coverage by molds was determined and the fresh weights of seedlings were measured. In laboratory the amounts of common antagonist microbes in Sphagnum mosses were studied using different selective growth media. Results of different experiments were compared to white peat. In greenhouse experiments it was noticed that disease suppressive features varied a lot depending on the origin of the mosses and had different effects against different damp-ing-off pathogens. Mosses in the uppermost layers had best disease suppressive features against all three pathogens. The healthiest and biggest seedlings were obtained in growing media that contained mainly Sphagnum mosses and only a minimum amount of other peatland vegetation. There were only small amounts of molds on the top of Sphagnum moss growth media but also some phytotoxicity on seedlings was obtained Sphagnum mosses had only small amounts of antagonistic microbes as compared with peat. The results indicated that Sphagnum mosses have potential as growing medium that could efficiently prevent damping-off diseases and molds. However variation of disease suppressive was observed, which calls for more experiments to verify these effects. Minor amounts of antagonistic microbes detected in Sphagnum, as compared with white peat, suggests that disease suppressiveness may be caused by the phenolic compounds of Sphganum mosses.