Climate Change Warms Up Finland – Increased Need for Fungicides Results

Finland is the northernmost country in the world with successful agriculture. Long harsh winters and low temperatures limit effective production of most crops. However, the cold climate also limits the proliferation of fungal pests. Now that the climate of Finland is heating up, the need for fungicides has grown.

“On average, since the 1960s there has been a trend of the growing season starting 2.1 days earlier per decade in the east and north of Finland, and 2.8 days earlier per decade in the west, with the pace of development accelerating since the 1980s.”

“With a longer growing season plant pathogens will thrive. For example, studies based on simulation models indicate that an increase of 1°C in mean temperature in southern Finland extends the period when potato late blight control (Phytophthora infestans) is necessary by 10-20 days, which means 1-2 more fungicide applications per season. The need for plant protection measures for potato late blight control has already increased following climate change, and the epidemiology of the pathogen has also changed substantially.”

Authors: K. Hakala, et al.
Affiliation: MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Plant Production Research, Jokioinen, Finland
Title: Pests and diseases in a changing climate: a major challenge for Finnish crop production.
Publication: Agriculture and Food Science. 2011. 20:3-14.

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