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Browsing by discipline "Kasvintuotantotieteet (agroekologia)"

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  • Suomela, Maria (2013)
    Along with rapid population growth, peri-urban environments have a great potential to improve urban food production. Especially, in developing countries people living in big cities are suffering from food and firewood shortages. Agroforestry could be a sustainable way to produce food and fuel in peri-urban areas, areas surrounding cities. For the development and the analyzing an agroecosystems, various recommendations and guidelines are in place. However, applying these recommendations and guidelines can be complicated and time consuming. The aim of this study was to create an agroforestry system design model which would be simple and easy to use. The model was created based on already existing agroecosystem analyzing and design models. From which publications by Altieri (1983); Agroecology – The scientific basis of alternative agriculture, Nair (1989); Agroforestry systems in the Tropics and Jaenicke et al. (1995); Towards a method to set priorities amongst species for tree improvement research – A case study from West Africa, where chosen to be applied. The study included three different stages: a development of the design model, testing the model and analyzing the model. The testing part was implemented in Dzivaresekwa, a peri-urban area of Harare, Zimbabwe. The data collection for design the agroforestry system consisted interviews of local farmers, project farm characterization and the interview of the project farm manager. Based on the data collected, suitable species and their arrangement were decided. The application of the design model required comprehensive data collection about the project farm’s farming possibilities. About four months was used for the whole design process. This might be too long for most of the farmers depending on agriculture as their only income. However, if the process is done for an entirely new farming system, the time can be found as reasonable. The model can be quite easily modified for each project in question. However, the testing of the model proved that some development should still be carried out. For example determining the suitable species should be simpler.
  • Nikkonen, Henri (2014)
    The aim of this study is to observe what kind of environmental impacts are caused by agriculture and what kind of factors causes them. The study is part of ENREFOOD – project, which views the environmental responsibility of food chain. The data was collected from scientific literature and a group interview, where participants were representing experts from different areas of primary production. The experts were shown a draft of the main environmental impacts and their causes basing on life cycle assessment (LCA) impact classes. The chosen main environmental impacts were focusing on climate change, acidification, eutrophication, biodiversity, toxicity and eco-toxicity and natural resources. The experts were supposed to modify this draft in order to achieve their collective perspective. The results were presented as comparing the draft based on scientific literature and perspectives obtained from the experts. Moreover, the terms used when discussing about the causes of the environmental impacts were analysed applying environmental protection process (EPP) framework, which can be used to illustrate how an environmental change is formed. The perspective of experts did not differ much from the scientific literature based on the draft. The names of the main environmental impact classes were slightly modified and one new class was formed. The new class was called landscape change and recreational factors. The terms relating to the causes used by experts were representing different components in the EPP framework. A Part of the terms were more abstract background factors whereas some related direct on farm level action and its emissions. The amount of the environmental impacts of primary production is huge. By more precisely scoping of the chosen environmental themes can result more manageable overall view. For example, as a good starting point the protection areas applied in the end point modelling of the LCA can be recommended. These areas of protection can be, e.g., human health, biodiversity, natural resources and natural environments. Focusing on these areas of protection separately can reduce the causality problem, which makes environmental impact observation challenging.
  • Honkala, Juho (2014)
    Biochar has been proposed to a promising future product as a carbon sink in carbon sequestration and as a soil conditioner. The aim of this master thesis is to clarify, how biochar affects on the crop formation and yield of faba bean Vicia faba in Southern-Finland. The research includes 3 growing seasons (2010-2012), but the biochar was spred in spring 2010. The study was carried out at the fields of the Viikki research farm, owned by the University Of Helsinki. The study was a split plot experiment, in which as the main plot factor was biochar rate (0, 5, 10 t ha?1). As the sub-plot factor was used fertilizing rate (12, 26 and 40 kg ha?1). To analyzing the yield components, the crop mass samples from the vegetation of every experimental plot were taken. The samples were taken at the end of crop maturation, at the development stage of > 85 (BBCH). Then the samples were dried. The yield components from the samples were separated, such as vegetative (leaves, stalks) and generative parts (pods). After that these parts were weighed. Pods were also calculated and seeds were separated from the pods, and then they were weighed. From obtained data, it was then possible to calculate the key number of yield com-ponents. And finally, the statistical analysis were done with these data. Biochar reduced the plant density at dry growing seasons 2010-2011. But at the same time it enhanced the number of pods per plant and number of seeds per pod. At moist year 2012 there were no significant differences in these components. Biochar didn’t affect significantly on the seed yield of faba bean. Fertilizing didn’t affect significantly on any yield component. Biochar and fertilizing affected significantly together only on 1 000 seeds weight on the year 2010. The lack of statistically significant affects was possibly due to the high fertility of the experimental field. There was evidence that biochar may enhance yield formation of faba bean through the ability of plants to compensate the decreased plant density during dry years. In this situation, a plant in-creases the other yield components. Due to biochar, the tolerance of plants to drought stress can become better. As a conclusion, biochar can be remarkable soil conditioner in the future, in particular during dry growing seasons. However, in fertile soils of Southern-Finland, there are no expected big yield increases in the first three years.
  • Jauho, Jenny (2014)
    Biowaste is composed of food and garden waste, which can easily be utilized for energy and nutrient recovery. A part of biowaste, however, still goes to landfilling, which cause harmful emissions and leaks to the environment. This pro gradu study was carried out as a part of JaloJäte- project in Etelä- Savo and Satakunta. The purpose of JaloJäte- project was to develop models for biowaste exploitation with corporate social responsibility. The aim of my study was to examine if there was any correlation between the amount of biowaste as dry matter and the revenues of the food companies. My study also gives information on which food sector produces most amounts of biowaste amount as dry matter proportional to the revenues as euros of the food company. The utilization of biowaste is also reported in different food sectors. The method was empirical and the study qualitative. I collected the information for the study by phone and by emails from food companies from the years 2007 to the year 2009. I got 102 interviews from food companies. The results indicate that when the revenues as euros of the food companies grew the biowaste amount as dry matter decreased. According to the study agriculture with fishing and food industry sectors produce more biowaste as dry matter per euro than food stores and restaurants. The biowaste utilization varied in different food chain sectors. The most popular biowaste utilization forms were composting, direct field use and feeding animals. Others more marginal biowaste utilization forms were burning and rotting. Unfortunately a part of biowaste still goes into landfilling. This cannot continue for long, because placing biowaste into landfills will be forbidden from start of the year 2016. Hopefully this will change puplic opinion so that biowaste will be considered more as a useful byproduct than as waste. More researche is needed on biowaste utilization, so more effective and economical recycling forms can be develop.
  • Kihlström, Laura (2010)
    Towards the year 2030 in Finland, sustainability issues will be dominated by climate change, the worsening state of the Baltic Sea, technological and technical development, globalization, the degradation of ecosystem services and increasing energy consumption. At the decision-making level, setting strategic objectives towards the year 2030 should consist of increasing energy efficiency, halting the reduction of biodiversity and changing consumption habits. Furthermore, promoting public transportation, limiting greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the proportion of renewable energy sources and linking climate policy to all sustainable development policies should be targeted in strategic long-term planning. This master’s thesis research was implemented as a Delphi study, a method commonly used in futures research. In a Delphi study the expertise of a chosen panel is utilized to gather information on a given topic. The research aimed at investigating the experts’ views on 1) the most important driving forces – changes and trends – affecting sustainable development towards the year 2030 2) the desirability and probability of different sustainability objectives and 3) recognizing the potential political conflicts brought by these strategies. The Delphi study was carried out during February 2010 – April 2010. It consisted of two rounds. The first round questionnaire was sent 43 experts (response rate 56 %). During the second round the most interesting first round results were completed with qualitative arguments (response rate 50 %). The results were analyzed in the manner that the research issues of most interest were 1) the trends having the most importance towards the year 2030 2) the most desirable strategic objectives with a high probability for political conflicts. The results indicate a high risk for political conflict especially with the targets on halting the reduction of biodiversity and changing consumption habits. These two objectives were considered difficult to grasp and often overruled by economic interests. Changing the current societal system based on continuous growth and consumption would require profound alterations in economy, society and individual values. The results also indicate that energy is a key issue for the coming decades: setting strategic objectives for replacing fossil fuels should be among the top priorities of the Finnish national government. Also, in addition for climate change being an important trend, the deviation of rankings in importance among the panel indicated a possibility for social and economic trends to have unexpected, sudden effects as we move towards the year 2030. These include global poverty and inequality, changing age structures and the sustainability of the Finnish economy.
  • Pohjanmies, Tähti (2014)
    Genetic variation within a population is shaped by the life history traits of the species and the properties of the surrounding ecosystem. It is an important factor in the preservation of populations. According to the emerging field of community genetics, genetic variation within a population of one species may also influence the dynamics and diversity of associated species, extending the conservational relevance of intraspecific genetic diversity. Finnish populations of pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) offer an interesting study system for population genetics. Q. robur grows in south-western Finland at the northern limit of its natural range. Here, its distribution has been shaped by long-term climatic and geological changes as well as by human disturbance, and the current populations are small and strongly fragmented. As Q. robur supports a high diversity of associated species, it is considered to have great ecological and conservational importance. In this thesis, I studied the amount and distribution of genetic diversity within and among three Q. robur populations in south-western Finland using population genetic parameters. I also described the spatial and temporal sub-population structure of one population, on the island of Wattkast. The genetic data was based on 15 nuclear microsatellite loci. Additionally, I examined the effect of the genetic diversity and genotypic identity of the oaks within Wattkast on associated herbivore communities. In the analysis, I used observational data from two years. As predicted for widespread, long-lived tree species, the microsatellite loci showed high levels of diversity within the populations, but also significant differentiation among them. This may be due to fragmentation and to the marginality of the populations. Within the population on Wattkast, I observed patterns of spatial and temporal sub-population differentiation. The characteristics of the site, including the ongoing shift to less extensive land use, suggest that the population is in genetic disequilibrium. As both the genetic distance and the community dissimilarity between pairs of trees increased with increasing geographic distance, I could not conclude the genotypic identity of the host trees to have an effect on the herbivore community structure. However, higher heterozygosity was associated with higher richness and abundance of species. This result supports the notion that intraspecific genetic variation may increase associated species richness. Based on the results of my study, both the life history traits of the species and the historic habitat changes may be observed in the genetic structure of Q. robur populations in Finland. The results also suggest that preservation of genetic variation within the remaining stands may be a factor not only in the preservation of these populations, but also in the conservation of associated species diversity.
  • Knuutila, Nina (2010)
    This thesis studies the tree species’ juvenile diversity in cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) based agroforestry and in primary forest in a natural conservation forest environment of Lore Lindu National Park, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Species’ adult composition in Lore Lindu National Park is relatively well studied, less is known about tree species’ diversity in seedling communities particularly in frequently disturbed cacao agroforestry field environment. Cacao production forms a potentially serious thread for maintaining the conservation areas pristine and forested in Sulawesi. The impacts of cacao production on natural environment are directly linked to the diversity and abundance of shade tree usage. The study aims at comparing differences between cacao agroforestry and natural forest in the surrounding area in their species composition in seedling and sapling size categories. The study was carried out in two parts. Biodiversity inventory of seedlings and saplings was combined with social survey with farmer interviews. Aim of the survey was to gain knowledge of the cacao fields, and farmers’ observations and choices regarding tree species associated with cacao. Data was collected in summer 2008. The assessment of the impact of environmental factors of solar radiation, weeding frequency, cacao tree planting density, distance to forest and distance to main park road, and type of habitat on seedling and sapling compositions was done with Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling (NMS). Outlier analysis was used to assess distorting variables for NMS, and Multi-Response Permutation Procedures (MRPP) analysis to differentiate the impact of categorical variables. Sampling success was estimated with rarefaction curves and jackknife estimate of species richness. In the inventory 135 species of trees and shrubs were found. Only some agroforestry related species were dominating. The most species rich were sapling communities in forest habitat. NMS was showing generally low linear correlation between variation of species composition and environmental variables. Solar radiation was having most significance as explaining variable. The most clearly separated in ordination were cacao and forest habitats. The results of seedling and sapling inventory were only partly coinciding with farmers’ knowledge of the tree species occurring on their fields. More research with frequent assessment of seedling cohorts is needed due to natural variability of cohorts and high mortality rate of seedlings.
  • Kankaanpää, Outi (2013)
    Loss of biodiversity in the Finnish agricultural environment has increased during the last decades due to the agricultural intensification. Accurate, efficient and repeatable sampling methods are important to follow the impacts of the measures to enhance biodiversity. This study focuses on the assessment of vegetation structure and species diversity. Vegetation cover is one of the most common measures to assess vegetation biodiversity. Cover data is usually collected by a point intercept method, a line intercept method or by visual estimation in quadrats. Traditional methods have been found to be laborious, time-consuming and subjective, and having poor repeatability. The main objective of this study was to find out if it is possible to improve vegetation surveys with digital photographs and an object-based image analysis. To answer this question, a visual method (VM) was compared with a photographic method (PM). The VM was based on ocular estimation of the total vegetation cover. In the PM, pictures of the top cover were taken vertically downward from 1.5 meters above the ground. Using a software program called Definiens, the photographs were divided into segments, which were then classified into bare ground, litter, monocots and dicots to estimate the covers for each category. The data was collected during the summer 2010 from environmental fallows and set-asides. There was a clear correlation between the cover measures in the VM and the PM, so it can be assumed that the PM is suitable for the assessment of the vegetation cover. However, using only the PM, it is not possible to get a reliable estimate of the vegetation structure or species diversity. It was faster to collect the data in the field with the PM than with the VM. The computer used in this survey was inefficient, thus the image analysis took more time than expected and as a result the PM was in its entirety slower than the VM. The study gave important theoretical and practical information about the photographic method, its strengths and weaknesses. Photographic methods are still under development and further research is needed but they hold promise for the future.
  • Parviainen, Tuure (2013)
    Biochar is currently being intensively studied as a soil conditioner in agriculture and as a potential carbon sink to mitigate climate change. The knowledge of the effects of biochar field application on soil fauna remains very limited. This is underlined by the absence of field experiments on the effects of biochar on earthworms, a globally common and important faunal group in arable soils. The purpose of our study was to determine the effects of biochar on arable soil earthworms under both laboratory and field conditions in a Boreal loamy sand soil. An earthworm avoidance test with Aporrectodea caliginosa was conducted for periods of 2 and 14 days with 1.6% w:w spruce chips biochar application (produced at 550-600 ° C, application rate corresponding to 30 t/ha biochar). The effect of field application of the same biochar on earthworm density and biomass was studied over one growing season in experiment growing wheat. In the avoidance test, application did not affect the habitat choice of earthworms when incubation lasted for two days, but after two weeks, a significant (P = 0.033) avoidance of biochar was observed. We suggest that the avoidance under the two-week incubation occurred due to soil desiccation caused by high water retention of biochar. In the field trial, after BC application there were no statistically significant differences in the total density and biomass of earthworms between biochar or fertilizer treatments. Due to the short duration of the field trial, our results do not allow conclusive evaluation of the treatment effects on earthworms. The time scale of the study can only be considered sufficient for unraveling immediate avoidance reactions caused by biochar application, for which we found no evidence. In order to thoroughly investigate matter further, the follow-up of the experiment should be continued.
  • Lähteenmäki, Saija (2013)
    Dung beetles affect ecosystem functioning in agricultural landscapes. Among these beetles several functional groups decompose cattle dung and contribute to recycling its nutrients back to the soil. To-day many Finnish dung beetle species are threatened because of habitat change and fragmentation. Therefore, the impacts of changes in dung beetle community structure on ecosystem functioning needs to be addressed. However, many earlier studies of dung beetle functions have focussed only on small-scale manipulations with possible implications for interpretation of the results on larger scale. The aim of this study was to assess whether large-scale enclosures can be used to manipulate dung beetle communities in Finland. With this new method I wanted to examine how different dung beetle communities affected dung decomposition and nutrient cycling. I also wanted to examine wheth-er grazing pressure affected dung decomposition. I used two types of mesh enclosures to create different communities of Aphodius and Geotrupes species. In small mesh enclosures I added dung beetles manually, while in the large mesh enclosures the smaller Aphodius species could get through the mesh, and Geotrupes were then added manually to some of these enclosures. During the experiment I repeatedly measured the amount of dung beetles inside and outside of the mesh to assess the performance of the enclosures. Within enclosures I created plots that reflected different grazing pressure. In every plot I placed a dung pat which I then weighed six times during the summer. At the end of the experiment I studied the effect of dung beetles on nutri-ent cycling by weighing the biomass of grass. Overall, I found that the large enclosures are usable and work well in Finland. My results from the enclosures with the bigger mesh size showed that Geotrupes are more efficient decomposers of dung than are Aphodius. However, there were no significant differences between Aphodius and Geotrupes in enclosures made of smaller mesh. Thus, different enclosures may have affected the functioning of the dung beetles because I put the beetles to some enclosures and to some they could get through the mesh. Dung decomposition rates changed remarkably between the different grazing pressures. The end weight of pats was lighter in short grass compared to pats in long grass. It is possible that this reflects microhabitat selection by beetles choosing the warmer pats in the short grass. Dung beetle community structure did not affect rates of nutrient recycling, as measured by grass growth. In conclusion, the results of my study suggest that large-scale enclosures can be effectively used to study dung beetle functions in grassland habitats. This study also confirms earlier observations re-garding the significance of different functional groups of dung beetles, and shows that the grazing envi-ronment may have an important impact on the ecosystem functions provided by dung beetles.
  • Syvänen, Marko (2011)
    Besides farms’ main plant and animal products, meat and bone meal (MBM) represents agroecosystems’ biggest outward flow of nutriuents. MBM contains plenty of the main plant nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and calcium (N ~8%, P ~5%, Ca usually ~10-15%, depending of the amount of bone matter), plus a little potassium (~1% or less). MBM has been proven efficient fertilizer on many plants, and it is also allowed for use in organic farming in EU. The most notable risk of MBM use relates to TSE-diseases (BSE for cattle, scrapie for sheeps and goats, and vCJD for humans). Its feed usage has been restricted in many countries since the BSE-crisis emerged in 1980’s. The rise of BSE was attributed to feeding cattle with MBM of cattle origin. Also feeding MBM to fur animals might pose a TSE-risk. However, assessing on the base of the studies included in this thesis, the TSE-risk from fertilizer use of MBM appears to be rather small. Still, a prerequisite of this is that all appropriate precautions are followed in the production and handling of MBM as well as when using it. By increasing the fertilizer use of MBM we would be able to considerably improve the nutrient cycle of phosphorus and other nutrients in our food systems. MBM is a renewable resource. The fertilizer use of MBM would also diminish the dependency on non-renewable phosphorus-rich rocks, that are commonly used in fertilizers today. MBM-fertlization was compared with mineral fertilizers in sugar beet field trials located in Southwestern Finland in the years 2008 and 2009. The cultivars used were ‘Jesper’ in 2008 and ‘Lincoln’ in 2009. The MBM source was Honkajoki Oy’s Viljo Yleislannoite 8-4-3, of which 10% was a combination of potassium sulphate fertilizer (42% K, 18% S) and plant-based side products. Viljotrials of 2009 also included added potassium sulphate to cover the nutrient requirements of sugar beet (60 kg K/ha). The plain Viljo-fertilizer produced yields that were significantly lower than control, but still above the Finnish average yields. When used in combination with mineral fertilizer (10-25% of the N content) the Viljo-trials produced yields close to the level of mineral fertilizers. The MBM-fertilization had a positive effect on beet quality in 2008 (measured in amino-N, K, and Na-concentrations), but in 2009 this effect was not present. Also, in 2008 one of the combinations (Viljo77%+NK1) produced a significantly higher sugar concentrations than the control. The sugar concentrations in 2009 didn’t differ significantly between fertilizers used but were excellent in all trials. These field trials indicate that MBM supplemented with potassium suphate has good potential for use as a fertilizer for sugar beet in Finnish conditions.
  • Toivonen, Marjaana (2011)
    Environmental fallows were added as a new voluntary scheme to the agri-environmental programme in Finland in 2009. The scheme aims, among other things, to benefit farmland biodiversity by providing resources for wildlife, and to protect soil from erosion and nutrient leaching. There are four types of environmental fallows: long-term grassland, game crop field, landscape plant field and meadow plant field. In 2010, they covered in total over seven per cent of the field area in Finland. It is important to evaluate the impacts of environmental fallows on environment and develop the scheme, in order to make effective use of resources put into it. The goals of this study were to find out, how important environmental fallows are for biodiversity in agricultural landscapes; what kind of fallows are the most valuable for biodiversity; and how the scheme should be developed. In order to answer these questions, the species richness and composition of vascular plants as well as vegetation structure were surveyed on environmental fallows in Uusimaa and North Ostrobothnia regions in summer 2010. Additionally, the vegetation of environmental fallows was compared with the vegetation of semi-natural meadows and field edges surveyed in another study. Information on the study fields, e. g. parcel history, establishment and management, was collected through a farmer questionnaire. Meadow fields that are sown with low-competitive seed mixtures proved to be the most species rich of the environmental fallow types. On grasslands and meadow fields, the fertility of soil was negatively correlated to the number of species. In species composition the four types of environmental fallows differed from each others as well as from seminatural meadows and field edges. So, the scheme probably enhances diversity in landscape scale. However, there were few rare plant species on environmental fallows. Today, the big majority of the environmental fallows are long-term grasslands, which reduces their positive impact on landscape and biodiversity. The value of environmental fallows both for nature, farmers and society can be enhanced by developing seed mixtures and establishment and management methods as well as offering more advice for the farmers.
  • Tammeorg, Priit (2010)
    Meat and bone meal (MBM) is a valuable co-product of the rendering industry. Its feed and fertilizer uses were restricted in the EU in 2002 as a result of the occurrence of BSE crisis. Consequently, MBM was land filled, incinerated or used as an alternative fuel in cement production. The re-allowance of the fertilizer use of MBM in the EU since spring 2006 together with the rising prices of industrial nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers have resulted in amplified research and use of MBM as a fertilizer. Additionally, growing consciousness of both finiteness of resources and deteriorating environmental effects of the artificial fertilizer use have contributed to growing popularity of nutrient recycling. The fertilizer effect and the nutrient uptake efficiencies of the Finnish MBM (N-P-K-Ca 8–6-0.5-15%) compared to mineral counterparts were tested for in present study. Additionally, the fertilizer effect of MBM in mixture with two potassium fertilizers was tested for. A greenhouse experiment with ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) fertilized with five fertilizers (MBM, mineral fertilizers Y4PK and NK, two mixtures of MBM and potassium fertilizers) was conducted from 2007 to 2008 in Department of Agricultural Sciences greenhouses in University of Helsinki, Finland. Each of the fertilizers was applied on three nitrogen levels (80, 160 and 240 kg N ha-1). Four additional reference treatments (0 kg N ha-1 fertilizer, PK I, PK II and PK III) were included. Six cuts of ryegrass were cut and the yields were recorded. Post-harvest plant and soil analyses were conducted. MBM was shown to be a highly effective N and P fertilizer with fertilizer effect similar or even longer lasting than artificial Y4PK fertilizer. Additionally, unlike highest application levels of mineral fertilizer Y4PK and NK, meat and bone meal treatments did not lower the pH level of the soil. Therefore, it can be concluded that the relatively high Ca content of MBM is useful in preventing further costs for liming the soil. The nutrient uptake efficiencies of MBM were generally somewhat lower than for mineral counterparts. That could be partly attributable to possible immobilization of MBM-N to soil and partly to lower readily plant-available P content of MBM than mineral fertilizers. However, as significant amount of MBM-P is still available for following years, it is justified to use MBM only once in a crop rotation. That makes MBM an especially effective complementary N and P fertilizer for organic farming, where most of the nitrogen need in crop rotation is covered with legumes and manure. The fertilizing potential for mixture of MBM and K fertilizers was shown to be rather high. However, the lack of affordable potassium sources suitable for organic farming is a recognized challenge. Additional research is needed for convalescing MBM as NPK fertilizer.
  • Chen, Lin (2008)
    Meat bone meal (MBM) contains considerable amount of nutrients (~8% N, ~5% P and ~10 Ca). So it can be a potential organic fertilizer for different crops. Traditionally, the production of mineral N and P fertilizers is unsustainable due to the reliance on fossil fuels in case on N, and limited mineral resource stocks in case of P. Using complementary fertilizers which originate from organic waste materials is gaining interest. On the other hand, organic farms are usually lacking nutrient sources if animals are not kept on farm at the same time. Whether MBM can achieve similar crop yield and quality as the mineral fertilizer was studied. To quantify and qualify MBM use as an N and P fertilizer, two field experiments were done on spring barley and oat in 2000 and 2001. MBM and two types fur animal manure based fertilizers (FAMB and FAMBCF) were compared to mineral fertilizer PellonY3 in three N levels: 60, 90 and 120 kg/ha. MBM and FAMBCF gave the same grain yield as PY3. There was no additional yield increase by increasing N rate from 90 to 120 kg/ha. Four aspects of grain quality, namely 1000grain weigh, test weigh, protein content and protein yield were tested. MBM, FAMBCF and PY3 tended to have similar effect while FAMB had lower effect. Since MBM has a low N/P ratio, when it is applied to meet crop's N demand, P will be at surplus. So using crop rotation and green manure for organic farm and only applying N fertilizer for conventional farm after using MBM is recommended. Adding K in MBM is also necessary when there is a lack of K in soil since MBM had only ~1% K.
  • Valo, Mirka (2014)
    Rice, cassava and eucalypts are important species for Thailand's economy and they are widely used in agroforestry systems in Thailand. In this research the studied agroforestry systems were boundary planting and alley cropping with rice, cassava and eucalypts, but there are also many other systems in use in Thailand. Rice is the most important crop in the world and also in Thailand and the demand of rice is increasing due to the population growth. Cassava has been an important plant in Thailand and also the demand of cassava is growing due the new potential industries. The amount of forests in Thailand has decreased from the 1960's while deforestation still continues due to that the planting of eucalypts is promoted for reforestation purposes. Also the demand of eucalypts is increasing because the consumption of paper is growing with the economic growth of Asian countries and due to the logging ban on natural forests in Thailand since 1989. Due to that contract farming of eucalypts is critical for pulp and paper industry and it has been increasing. The aim of this study was to find out the reasons why farmers have chosen agroforestry and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the used systems. The research was semi-structured interview and it was conducted with 25 farmers. Confirmative results on factors affecting farmer's adoption, continuation and experience on benefits of agroforestry did not emerge from the data. Farmers mentioned most often availability and suitability of the land, own experiences and knowledge as the reason for adoption. Farmers saw agroforestry as a way to increase their income, improve profitability and diversify their production. Most of the farmers were going to use agroforestry systems also in the future.
  • Westerling, Kim (2011)
    In Finland most of the accumulated phosphorus in the agricultural soils is underutilized and at the same time excess phosphorus in soil is susceptible to leaching. Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) has the potential to promote plant phosphorus nutrition and growth, and reduce nutrient leaching. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of mycorrhizal symbiosis on plant growth and phosphorus nutrition with three different fertilization management practices. The influence of fertilization management history on field AMF population was also studied. To relate the impact on AM to impacts on other soil quality aspects, the effect of the fertilization rates on crop growth and indicators of soil functioning was evaluated. Long term field experiments established in 1965-66 on three sites in Northern Sweden were utilized. Six years’ rotation either with five grass years and a barley year or barley monoculture was treated with recommended (NPK) and double the recommended (2NPK) rate of mineral fertilisation or with farmyard manure (FYM) with a nutrient amount corresponding to the NPK –treatment for 32 years. The effect of three long term practices on the potential AM contribution to crop phosphorus nutrition and growth was studied in a bioassay. To study the impact of longterm management practices on functional properties of AMF, the sterilised soil from the field plots of NPK and FYM treatments was re- and cross-inoculated (5 v-%) with untreated field soil from each of the same treatments. Crop yields were measured in the field and field soil quality was assessed. Benefit from AM in terms of crop phosphorus nutrition and growth was greatest when manure was applied while there were no differences among the mineral fertiliser treatments. There were no statistically significant differences in the bioassay with re- and cross-inoculations. Grass and barley yields were highest when mineral NPK fertiliser was applied at double the recommended rate. Crop performed equally well or better in terms of yield with manure compared to a corresponding nutrient amount in mineral fertilizers. Manure applications seemed to increase soil carbon and nitrogen contents relative to the recommended amount of NPK, yet keeping the plant-available phosphorus concentration liable for leaching at a similarly low level. Thus, enhanced recycling of nutrients through use of farmyard manure to replace mineral NPK fertilisation favoured reliance on AM in phosphorus nutrition of crops with no trade-off in yields, simultaneously enhancing soil quality.
  • Jokiaho, Marika (2012)
    This study examines youths images and attitudes toward organic products and its production. The study seeks to answer questions like what kind of images and attitudes youths have about organic products? Are there any differences in images and attitudes between boys and girls? How much influence does family consumption habits have? This study has been executed by questionnaire on autumn 2008. The sample consists of 9th graders (n = 127) from two different areas. These areas were the Helsinki metropolitan area and the southeast-Finland area. Youths images of organic products are mainly positive. They think that the products are healthy, tasty, environmentally friendly, authentic and pure but expensive. Youths consider organic as modern and fashion-able and they don t think of it as a passing trend. They also appreciate being natural and are interested in the origin of food and also in the way the food has been produced. Girls think of organic a little more positively than boys do. Between Helsinki metropolitan area and southeast-Finland area, there were no significant differences in images or attitudes toward organic products. The consumption habits of families have a clear effect on the youth s images and attitudes toward organic products. In families where organic products have been consumed more, the youth trusted organic products more than in families where organic products ha-ven t been used as much. Youths of families using organic products also wanted to use the products more than youths whose families haven t used them. Thus, being acquainted with the products is important and increases the trust toward organic.
  • Savikurki, Anni (2013)
    While a situational analysis by an intervention research program CoS-SIS was being conducted in Lawra and Nadowli regions in Northern Ghana, it was noticed that some farms performed differently: they had more animals, better market off-take or they employed uncommon practices. This raised an interest in this kind of behaviour; what kind of positive deviance exists and what enables it? The objective of this study was to gain understanding on enabling factors for better livelihood outcomes. Study design was a case study where positive deviant (PD) and commercial farmers were contrasted to regular farmers. Qualitative ethnographic methods were used in data collection. Semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were conducted with the main 12 PD informants. Recorded and transcribed data was analyzed by using thematic content analysis. The findings suggest that subsistence production is most common while commercial farming is rare. Recreational farming exists as well. Only commercials sell animals in sales purposes; commonly animals are sold only in need. The main constraints refer to animal mortality, stealing and lack of water. At the back of the problems there are insufficient service delivery and input dealing as well as farmers’ identity and attitudes towards animal rearing. Positive deviance manifests in larger animal holdings and areas in cultivation. This is attributed to the practices employed: PDs offer supplementary feeding, vaccinate and deworm the animals as well as house them for the night. The practices have been learned through neighbours and relatives as well as through extension and projects. Characteristics to PDs is an off-farm income source which enables investments in agriculture. It can be concluded that PD is about basic practices which have been learned from rather common sources. Creating an enabling environment for small ruminant production requires institutional changes as regards to farmers’ attitudes and service and input delivery. Local practices as responses to constraints would be suitable topics for further research.
  • Kinnunen, Saara (2011)
    Plants have always invaded to new locations. The invasion can be seen as a process that has several stages and in every stage different factors can be important. Climate and especially temperature affects on plant distribution and invasion and therefore climate change is predicted to shift plant distributions further north. As a consequence of climate change some harmful weeds, like redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.) and barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli L. Beauv.), from southern regions could also spread to Finland. The aim of this study was to investigate the survival and growth of redroot pigweed and barnyard grass in field conditions in Finland and try to predict their establishment success and possible spread. Weeds were grown with maize in the field and in the greenhouse. Also the effect of climate warming was tested in the greenhouse. Redroot pigweed grew well in the field, despite its late emergence, but barnyard grass germinated and grew poorly. In the greenhouse they both grew well. Competition reduced the vegetative growth of redroot pigweeds and barnyard grass in greenhouse and it reduced seed production both in the field and in the greenhouse. In greenhouse, higher temperature did not cause any effects on the vegetative growth of redroot pigweed or barnyard grass, but redroot pigweed produced more seeds in the warmer temperature. Warmer temperature had no effect on barnyard grasses seed production. These results suggest that redroot pigweed could survive even in present climate conditions in Finland, but the seed production might be less certain. Redroot pigweed would probably benefit from the longer growing season of future. The results of barnyard grass were mixed and nothing certain can be said about its behavior in the future climate.
  • Laanti, Sanna (2013)
    As farming has become more intensive, pasturing of traditional rural biotopes has decreased. At the moment all forest pastures are regarded as endangered biotope type in Finland. Currently many species living in them are also endangered. Therefore, restoration and management of traditional biotopes is important. There is special support payment scheme to the land owners for management of traditional rural biotopes which is the most important form encouraging this work. Farmers are the most significant group managing traditional biotopes, so their willingness for management should be increased. Knowledge about nature and farming, attitudes towards them and economic situation of the farm influence farmers’ environmental care. In this study we tried to find out, what problems owners face when managing traditional forest pastures, why do they stop applying for the support and how farmers would like the support scheme to be improved. For a survey we sent 264 questionnaires to land owners who receive the special support for managing traditional rural biotopes in Central Finland, Satakunta and Finland Proper. We received 69 answers. The biggest challenges turn out to be the amount of work, possible sanction, ban of extra fodder, amount of support, ban of fencing traditional biotopes with sown grassland and application process. How much a possible sanction was perceived as a challenge depended on a living region and a challenge of ban of extra fodder and co-fencing depended on a kind of grazing animals. Giving up farm/animals, authority/bureaucracy and too much work were the main reasons to quit management. Most common proposals for improvement were increase of support, moderation of terms of the support, easing of management, simplification of applying papers and increase of guidance. According to this study, the special support and therefore restoration and management of traditional biotopes can become more appealing for farmers if the amount of support would better reflect the amount of work, actions of the authorities would be more consistent, application process for the support would be easier and allowing extra fodder and co-fencing would be considered under special permissions.