Finland is the world’s northernmost grain-producing country. The growing season is short and it is suitable only for spring sown oat varieties. The sowing starts in May, which is a couple of months later than in the Central Europe. Oats grow mainly in the Southern and Western Finland where the growing season lasts around 175-185 days. The summers are also quite cool which helps Finnish oats to grow bigger in size and develop unique flavor. Harvesting begins in August and lasts until September. Due to climatic conditions, oats need to be dried immediately after harvest. The active drying increases costs but improves the homogeneity of the crop and helps to retains high grain quality.
The wintertime plays an important role for Finnish agriculture. Despite being cold and dark, it improves growing conditions in several ways. First, cold winter reduces the number of plant diseases and pests. Second, less plant protectants are used, and the risk of their residues in the yield is reduced.
All farmers are required to create a detailed agriculture plan. Sowed crops and varieties are recorded in the cultivation plan based on parcel accounting. Special characteristics of the plant, the conditions in the area, and the crop rotation are taken into account. Furthermore, a liming and fertilization plan is prepared, taking into consideration the results of the soil fertility analysis. The plan helps to optimize the fertilization and reduce the nutrient load on water bodies.