Summer in southern Finland lasts 170 days and just 100 in the north. Southern Finland also benefits from the Gulf Stream. Climatic conditions are decisive for the location of crop production, and in many parts of Finland livestock production, especially dairy production, is the only profitable form of agriculture.
Finnish agriculture is based on family farms with 88% in private ownership. As with the other countries in the Nordic region, the total number of farms has decreased while the average farm size has increased.
At one time, almost all farms produced milk. Today, dairy farming is the main enterprise on less than 30% of farms.
The area suited to dairy farming is mainly in the northern two-thirds of the country. The number of milk suppliers has decreased steadily and, as with the rest of the Nordic region, the number of dairy cows has also declined. However, during this period the level of milk production has increased slightly as yields per cow increased substantially.
Silage production trends
The production of silage has increased over the last two decades and the production of hay decreased.