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Raisioagro encouraging environmentally efficient cultivation

Raisioagro's new strategy Growth Inspirer focuses in the agricultural sectors where success in based on innovations and expertise in animal feeding and plant cultivation. Raisioagro is a major grain purchaser in Finland, so it has an excellent opportunity to develop the food chain responsibility also in the primary production.

Raisioagro is one of the biggest buyers, users and suppliers of grain in Finland. The company uses feed grains for the production of cattle feeds at its own factories in Kouvola and Ylivieska. As the production of pig and poultry feeds was terminated, the amount of feed grain purchased for own use decreased. Raisioagro, however, continues to supply grains to other industrial operators and is active in the export of grain. Grass cultivation is a new, strategically important field for Raisioagro.

The results of Raisioagro's Next Top Farmer contest 2014 showed that cultivation is worth investing in. Plants in the contest included spring wheat, barley, oat, feed peas and corn as well as grass as a new entry. Good crops as well as correctly designed agricultural inputs and practices generate the best results, both economically and environmentally. Grass cultivation, for example, prevents erosion and thus nutrient run-offs into water. As a perennial, grass also recovers a lot of nutrients from the field. Moreover, grasses are well suited for crop rotation. Raisioagro's farming experts help farmers to produce healthy food effectively, profitably and sustainably.

High yields do not automatically mean high environmental impacts; a good crop is the best way to protect the environment. For example, the yields from the eight farms participating in the contest in 2014 were on average 75% higher than average yields reported in Finland. The contest yields bound plenty of phosphorus from the soil; phosphorus balances on the contest farms were very low, totalling -136.4kg/ha

Through its customer service and environmental projects, Raisioagro aims to bring environmental indices into the everyday life of the farms. Nutrient utilisation can be considerably enhanced with the right cultivation measures.