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RESEARCH

The Field Drainage Research Association coordinates joint research projects within the field of agricultural water management. In recent years the association has coordinated projects where The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Aalto University, Sven Hallin Research Foundation sr, Helsinki University, The Finnish Environment Institute have taken part. Current joint projects coordinated by the association are listed below. Information concerning previous projects can be found here.

THE ROLE OF WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN CROP PRODUCTION AND WATER PROTECTION (VesiHave)

Agricultural water resources management (controlled drainage and irrigation) plays a key role in crop production in improving the productivity and mitigating the leaching of nutrients. The drainage needs to function properly in order for soil improvement and cultivation measures to have desired effect. The main objective of the VesiHave-project is to study how the efficiency and control of the field drainage and main drainage (i.e. subsurface drainage and main drainage channels) affects crop production and water quality. The aim is to control the drainage of the field in order to maximize yield, ensure a good soil structure, and minimize the leaching of nutrients. The effect of other land improvement measures will also be investigated. Also the correlation between the water table depth and GHG emissions from the soil will be studied. Read more.

THE IMPACTS OF LAND IMPROVEMENT MEASURES ON CROP YIELD AND NUTRIENT BALANCE

Land improvement measures, such as drainage and liming, forms the basis for all crop production. The usual effects of inadequate drainage are crop yield loss due to excessively wet conditions during the growing season as well as increased risk for harvest failure due to impaired trafficability. Insufficient drainage can in worst cases lead to poor harvests year after year. The PERA-project aims to investigate the linkages between the condition of the drainage system, the productivity, and the nutrient leakage (nitrogen and phosphorus) on field level. The profitability of land improvement investments (such as field drainage) is assessed from the perspective of both the farmer and the society. The risk of nutrient leakage will be assessed on field level using the nutrient balance, which has been assessed in previous studies regarding nitrogen and phosphorus. However, in previous studies the condition of the drainage systems has not been considered. Read more.

THE IMPACT OF A REDIRECTION OF PRODUCTION (FROM CEREAL PRODUCTION TO GRASSLAND AND PASTURE) ON THE NUTRIENT AND SEDIMENT LOAD FROM A CLAYEY FIELD

The objective of the study was to assess on field-scale how the water, nutrient, and sediment pathways and quantities change as a result of a conversion from conventional cereal production to organic beef cattle pasture and grassland. The aim of the long-term hydrological measurements is also to observe the impact of the slope of the field and different weather condition on the nutrient load. The aim is also to produce reference material for hydrological models, which can be used when planning the water resource management in agricultural areas as well as water protection measures. Read more.