Mistä ja miten tunnistaa maan hyvän kasvukunnon? Havaintoja kahdeksalta tilalta Varsinais-Suomesta, Satakunnasta ja Etelä-Pohjanmaalta.

Translated title of the contribution: How to identify good soil health? Observations from eight farms in Varsinais-Suomi, Satakunta and South-Ostrobothnia

Tuomas J Mattila, Jukka Aaro Rajala

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Soil health is a new way of describing soil functioning and the effects of agriculture on soil quality. Several indicators have been developed for measuring soil health, but how do they correspond to farmer experiences of fields with good and poor growth?

The aim of this study was to test different indicators for soil health and quality on eight farms located in the western part of Finland. Voluntary farmers had chosen a problematic field from their farm and a well growing control field. Soil samples taken in autumn 2015 and soil observations done in summer 2016 were used to identify reasons for the difference in productivity between fields. The indicators measured different dimensions of soil health: chemical, physical and biological fertility.

Chemical fertility was measured through soil tests which approximated plant available nutrients. Physical fertility was measured through soil compactness, water infiltration and visual evaluation of soil structure. Biological fertility was measured through monitoring abundance of some keystone species, microbial activity and testing for soil aggregate stability.

Based on the results, no simple and general parameter was found, which could explain the differences in growth in all fields. Each field appeared to have its own set of problems, which were related to the basic properties of the soil and the farming history. However problems related to soil structure, compactness and poor water infiltration were very common in both poor and good fields.
Translated title of the contributionHow to identify good soil health? Observations from eight farms in Varsinais-Suomi, Satakunta and South-Ostrobothnia
Original languageFinnish
Place of PublicationMikkeli
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-51-0452-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

PublisherHelsingin yliopisto Ruralia-instituutti
ISSN (Electronic)1796-0630

Fields of Science

  • 4111 Agronomy

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