Current issue: 54(2)
The aim of the study was to collect the first complete statistics on pastures and grazing of cattle in Finland. The data was collected in connection with an investigation of wood utilization in 1937-1938. Overall trend in grazing is that forest pastures are being replaced with restricted forest pastures and those further with hay meadows. This development is proceeding in the whole country, and it is almost completed in Western Finland. Grazing will probably be transferred completely to cultivated lands in the coming decades. This is important question also for the forestry, because of the damage grazing causes for forest.
Forest pastures are, however, still very important in animal husbandry. They produce over 500 million forage units. It would require 400,000 ha of hay meadows to produce corresponding amount of fodder. To sustain the present number of cattle, a third of all arable land in Finland should be hay meadows. The main goal for development of pastural agriculture is improving the effectivity of grazing and productivity of the pastures.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
It is possible to show that many of the after-effects resulting from the disappearance of forest cover were well known already in ancient times. The invigorating effect of moving around freely in the forest and its artistic creative ability were also recognized as well as the healing effect of coniferous forest on people suffering from consumption. Hunting and the use of forests for cattle grazing is also an extremely old practice. The so-called by-products of the forest such as tree bark and leaves, as well as berries and fruits, have played an important role in the history of mankind from the very earliest beginnings.
The PDF includes a summary in English.