Farm and fields in Mäntyharju, eastern Finland
Farm and fields in Mäntyharju, eastern Finland

Agriculture in Finland is characterized by the northern climate and self-sufficiency in most major agricultural products. Its economic role is declining in terms of GNP and employment in primary production, but together with the food industry and forestry with which it is linked, it forms a significant part of the Finnish economy.[1][2] The number of farms has steadily declined for the last decades. Between 2000 and 2012 their number fell from almost 80,000 in 2000 to about 60,000, while the amount of arable land has slightly increased to a total of almost 2.3 million hectares.[2] Agriculture employed 125,000 people in 2010, which is a drop of 30 percent from 2000.[3]

A study to examine job resources, work engagement and Finnish dairy farmers' preferences concerning methods to enhance overall well-being while working on farms was conducted. The results indicate that the family, working with cattle, healthy farm animals, a reasonable workload, and a sustainable farm economy have the capacity to create positive impacts on well-being among dairy farmers. Well-being on farms is a part of sustainable food production.


Hay field by Aavasaksa, Ylitornio (66°24′N).
Hay field by Aavasaksa, Ylitornio (66°24′N).

The majority of farms and agricultural land in Finland lie between the 60th and 65th parallel,[4] making it the only country in the world with a significant agricultural sector so far in the north.[5][6] The percentage of farms concentrating on animal production increases towards the north and east.[7]


Finland produced in 2018:

In addition to smaller productions of other agricultural products.[8]


As with the other Nordics, the disease situation is slightly different because this is the northernmost cereal cultivation area in the world. In 2009 the worst pathogens were: on barley, the fungal leaf spots (Drechslera teres, Cochliobolus sativus, Rhynchosporium secalis), and possibly Fusarium langsethiae and Ramularia collo-cygni in the future; on spring wheat, the leaf blotch diseases; on oat, Pyrenophora chaetomioides, Phaeosphaeria avenaria, C. sativus, and possibly F. langsethiae in the future; rarely powdery mildew and yellow rust. The benefit of fungicide is 11% in barley and 13% in spring wheat. Fungicides are used by 73% of cereal farmers.[9]

Monographella nivalis and Puccinia recondita routinely plague winter rye. Native cultivars are usually more well suited to the native disease and abiotic environment (with the exception of one variety and one disease). Late-sowing is the better disease management strategy in Finland.[10]

Puccinia triticina (wheat leaf rust) commonly appears late in the wheat season. Severe losses are rare but due occur with a combination of susceptible cultivars, mild winter, and further favorable weather through the rest of the season. The most common resistance gene deployed between 1992 and 2002 was Lr10 at 20.0% (less popular were Lr14a and Lr26). The most popular cultivars were: for spring wheat, 'Tjalve' (no Lrs), 'Mahti' (Lr10), 'Vinjett' (Lr14a), 'Kruunu' (Lr10), 'Bastian' (none), 'Zebra' (Lr14a), 'Manu' (unknown) and 'Anniina' (unknown); and for winter wheat, 'Tryggve' (unknown), 'Urho' (unknown), 'Tarso' (Lr26+other unknown), 'Aura' (unknown), 'Ilves' (none), 'Gunbo' and 'Ramiro'. 20% of cultivars had no noticeable resistance. The existing leaf rust virulence pattern likely reflects selection by the Lrs that have been deployed up to now.[11]


  1. ^ "Agriculture". Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. 2010. Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Statistics Finland 2012.
  3. ^ Tike 2011.
  4. ^ Tike 2010. p. 29
  5. ^ The claim can be verified by a comparison of national agricultural statistics from Canada, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States. (Statistics Norway 2001, Statistics Canada 2007, Jordbruksverket 2008, USDA 2009 (p. 276), Federal State Statistics Service 2011 (pp. 219-221, 236-243))
  6. ^ The difference is most pronounced for crop production and there are for example dairy farms in Norway north of the Finnish border in the Teno river valley near the 70th parallel. (photograph)
  7. ^ Tike 2010. p. 55
  8. ^ Finland production in 2018, by FAO
  9. ^ Savary, Serge; Ficke, Andrea; Aubertot, Jean-Noël; Hollier, Clayton (15 July 2012). "Crop losses due to diseases and their implications for global food production losses and food security". Food Security. International Society for Plant Pathology (Springer). 4 (4): 519–537. doi:10.1007/s12571-012-0200-5. ISSN 1876-4517. S2CID 3335739.
  10. ^ Serenius, Marjo; Huusela-Veistola, Erja; Avikainen, Hanna; Pahkala, Katri (2008). "Effects of sowing time on pink snow mould, leaf rust and winter damage in winter rye varieties in Finland". Agricultural and Food Science. Scientific Agricultural Society of Finland. 14 (4): 362. doi:10.2137/145960605775897696. ISSN 1795-1895. S2CID 54588471.
  11. ^ Hysing, Shu-Chin; P. Singh, Ravi; Huerta-Espino, Julio; Merker, Arnulf; Liljeroth, Erland; Diaz, Oscar (2006). "Leaf rust (Puccinia triticina) resistance in wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivars grown in Northern Europe 1992-2002". Hereditas. Mendelska sällskapet, Lund University (Wiley). 143 (2006): 1–14. doi:10.1111/j.2005.0018-0661.01917.x. ISSN 0018-0661. PMID 17362328. S2CID 38073701.