Finnish agriculture: sectors and characteristics

Table of contents:

Finnish agriculture: sectors and characteristics
Finnish agriculture: sectors and characteristics

Finland is one of the Nordic countries. It is the easternmost of the Scandinavian states. It is located in the taiga forest zone of the Northern Hemisphere. It is washed by the waters of the B altic Sea and the Gulf of Finland. The country is spread over an area of 338430, 5 km2. It is a parliamentary republic with the capital city of Helsinki. The number of inhabitants is 5 million 560 thousand people. According to this indicator, the country is ranked 114th. The official languages are Finnish and Swedish. It borders with Russia, Sweden and Norway. Finland's industry and agriculture are fairly well developed.

Geographic features

Finland is located in the north of Europe, including beyond the Arctic Circle. According to natural characteristics, it is divided into 3 regions: coastal lowlands, the lake zone and the elevated northern part. The latter is characterized by low soil fertility and rather harsh climatic conditions. There you can find both highlands and rocky mountains. The highest point in the country is 1324 meters.

Finnish nature
Finnish nature

The climate is cool, temperate, with a slightly pronounced continentality (in some places closer to the sea) and more continental in the north. Frequent cyclones of Atlantic origin play a large role in shaping the weather.

Climate warming is quite pronounced. So, over the past 166 years, the country has become warmer by an average of 2.3 degrees. This, of course, has a positive effect on agriculture, but the risk of forest fires and droughts increases.

drought in finland 2018
drought in finland 2018

Winters are relatively cold, summers are not hot. Sometimes there are severe frosts (up to minus 40-50 degrees).

About a third of Finland's territory is covered by swamps, and 60% of the country's total area is covered by forests. The ecological situation is considered favorable. Fairly strict environmental legislation is in place.


The economic situation in this country largely depends on Russia, with which Finland has traditional trade relations. Therefore, the decline in the performance of the Russian economy in recent years has also hurt the Finnish economy. In particular, the conditions for the export of Finnish products are deteriorating.

The role of agriculture is gradually decreasing. In the middle of the last century, it (together with logging) gave more than a quarter of the gross national product, and by the beginning of the 21st century - only 3%. Now the service sector dominates. The share of industry remains around 30 percent.

Forests are the main natural resource. This is the traditional sector of the Finnish economy. The main industry is steelproduction.

Agriculture in Finland in brief

In this country, two areas prevail: animal husbandry and crop production. Difficult climatic conditions make farming difficult and farmers used to be compensated. Due to difficult relations with Russia, there are problems with the export of agricultural products. Finland's agricultural sectors are quite numerous.

finland agriculture in brief
finland agriculture in brief

Crop production

The northern position of the state limits the possibilities for growing agricultural plants. Only 8% of the total territory is allocated for crops, and the area of arable land is 2 million hectares. Mostly agriculture is carried out by small family farms, using the achievements of mechanization in growing plants. They are about 86% of the total. Some of them have been around for centuries. Gradually they are enlarged, and their total number is reduced. Most of the farms are located in the western half of the country. Now there are 51,575 of them.

The most common crops are: wheat, barley, rye and oats.

A significant part of the crop is used as pet food. Forage plants are grown in large quantities: oats and barley. Moreover, the latter grows even in the northern regions of Finland.

Only 1/10 of the total area of arable land is grain crops. Most often it is spring wheat. Cereal crops are exposed to significant weather risks. In addition to them, tomatoes, peas, currants, and strawberries are grown. They play a big roleplanting potatoes and sugar beets. Potatoes are of great export importance.

Finnish agricultural sectors
Finnish agricultural sectors

In addition to agriculture, Finland also collects wild berries and mushrooms. Many foreigners are involved in these works.

Fiber hemp and hop cultivation is on the rise. The latter is used to produce local beer.


This direction is the most important specialization of agriculture in Finland. It gives about 4/5 of the proceeds from the sale of all agricultural products in the country. This is true for other Scandinavian countries as well. Almost all types of animal husbandry are developed in Finland. They raise cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, reindeer, fur-bearing animals and fish. However, for certain categories of meat products, production is not enough to meet domestic demand. This applies in particular to lamb.

In a year, the average Finn consumes 35 kg of pork, 19 kg of beef, 9 kg of poultry, 5 kg of butter, 200 liters of milk and 15 kg of cheese. These indicators remain unchanged from year to year.

Getting milk is important. Among cows, 2 types are most common: Aishir and Finnish. There are about 1.3 million pigs.

finland animal husbandry
finland animal husbandry

In 2012, a law banning the keeping of laying hens in small cages came into force. As a result, every third poultry farm was closed, and the release of eggs decreased by 1/10. At the same time, their cost has increased significantly.

Cultivation of fur-bearing animalsis under pressure from environmental organizations, but from an economic point of view, it is a profitable industry that provides significant revenue to the budget. Most fur farms are located in the western part of the country. Over 3 thousand mink skins are produced annually.

The reindeer population numbers 200,000 animals. Over 7,000 people are involved in their breeding. When rearing reindeer, there is an acute problem with such predatory animals as the wolf and lynx. Farmers are provided with compensation in case of a serious impact of these predators on the population of these tundra animals.


The total number of horses in the country is 60,000 individuals. Various breeds of horses are raised. Many are then used as labor force.

Quality and sustainability

The high quality of Finnish agricultural products is well known. Achieving good performance is a national priority. If in many countries they rely on quantity, here they rely on quality. Limit the use of fertilizers. And the diet of pets must meet accepted standards. At the same time, they try to make the conditions of their detention as comfortable as possible. After all, if the animal is kept in stress and dirt, then the quality of the product will be appropriate. Finnish manufacturers understand this and draw the appropriate conclusions. In our country, these conditions, as a rule, are not observed and the animals are kept at random, and fed with incomprehensible what. As a result, the quality of their products is much higher than ours.

Fish farming

Finland has a large number of different reservoirs with fairly clean water. Therefore, the possibilities of the fishing industry are quite significant. The total catch is about 100 thousand tons of fish per year. Of these, 15% is trout.

Finnish agricultural sectors
Finnish agricultural sectors

Milk production

This is one of the most developed branches of agriculture in Finland. In 2016, there were 7,813 dairy farms and 3,364 farms specializing in the cultivation of beef cattle in this country. There are 1266 pig farms in Finland. Income from the sale of dairy products accounts for 40% of the entire agricultural sector. The milk yield of cows is gradually increasing. Now, several times more milk is obtained from one cow than 100 years ago. And over the past 16 years, this figure has grown from 6800 to 8400 liters per year.

One of the most advanced is Helena Pesonen's farm. Here one cow gives over 9000 hp. milk per year. Such high rates are achieved due to the comfortable conditions that are created for the cows. They can walk freely throughout the year, consume high-quality natural food (grain, hay, silage, barley, protein, etc.), they are treated on time, and antibiotics are used very rarely. Food containing GMOs is prohibited. Hormonal drugs are also prohibited. The Finns themselves consider favorable environmental conditions as one of the reasons for high milk yields. They also associate good crop yields with this factor.


Working in agriculture in Finlandis quite profitable and prestigious occupation. Small family farms have been especially developed here. Most often they specialize in animal husbandry. In Finnish agriculture, it is of paramount importance.