Current issue: 54(2)
Farm forestry in northern Ostrobothnia has met different kinds of obstacles that decrease its profitability, some national, some local. One of the later is partitioning of land. The purpose of this investigation was to survey the division of farm land in the coastal municipalities of northern Ostrobothnia in Finland, where the conditions are among the most unfavourable in the country in this respect. The material used in the investigation was collected in a previous study about the structure of the farms in the area. First part of the paper summarises the history of partitioning of land in Finland.
The results show that division of the woodlots of a farm are in the coastal municipalities of northern Ostrobothnia very disadvantageous for forestry. The average distance of a woodlot to the farmhouse is 8.3 km, but there is a great variation between the municipalities, and the distance varies from 30 to 1.9 km. The form of the lots, as the long ribbon-like woodlots in the municipality of Liminka, complicates often practical forestry. In addition, the number of separate woodlots is high, in average 9.2 per farm.
The great distance of the woodlots from the main farms hinders the use of forests and diminishes the financial result of forestry. Unfavourable form of the woodlots posts similar hindrances to harvesting of timber and forest management as the long distances and high number of separate plots. The problem is heightened by the abundance of peatlands in relation to productive forest lands in the area.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The forest management practices in Finland are closely related to the industrial history in the country. The selection cutting method used previously has now been gradually disappearing, and differences in the quality of forest management can still be observed between different owner groups. The national forest inventories indicate that farm woodlots show the poorest silvicultural state among the ownership categories. This study analyses social and economic causes responsible for variation in the silvicultural state of farm woodlots managed jointly with a cultivated land holding. The study is based on the data of third national forest inventory in Finland, and a factor analysis was calculated using the data.
Although the model developed explains more than a half of the total variance of the level of silviculture, only less than third of this is clearly explained by economic and social factors. The remaining two thirds are explained by the ’nature factor’, which includes both economic and site factors. This affects the effect of different kinds of forest policy measures. Of the variables in the model, the strongest influence in the level of silviculture have income, size of woodlot, size of land area under cultivation and distribution of forest types. The differences in the level of silviculture between different woodlots and different districts, may be explained by the theory of cumulative process. Regional differences in economic phenomena cannot be explained without taking into consideration the social value hierarchy in each region, which determines the range of variation of economic variables.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
The state of Finland controls the private forestry by legislation and by promoting forest management. The initial reason for regulating the private forestry in the 1600s was to prevent forest devastation and the decrease of the forest resources in the country. The Private Forest Act came into effect in 1929. It required that regeneration of the forest is cared for after fellings and that an announcement is given of planned fellings. There are several organizations to promote private forestry and advice the private forest owners, for instance, District Forest Boards, Central Forestry Association Tapio and the Forest Management Associations. It is concluded that the Private Forest Act and the organizations have fulfilled their objectives.
Private forests account for about 2/3 of the growth of the forests in Finland, but little is known about the economy of forestry in private farms. The study analyses the forestry in private farms using accounting data of farms, collected in a survey of profitability in agriculture that was compiled by the Board of Agriculture. The sample of 18 farms represent farms where the use of forests was sustainable. The accounting data was complemented by survey of forest recourses in the farms. The typical forest site type is Myrtillus type, and the average growing stock is 96‒136 m3/ha which is above the average of the private forests. Fellings exceeded the growth of the forests in some farms, but this was compensated by uncommonly large forest resources. In average, growth exceeded the fellings. Timber accounted for most of the sales, while fuel wood sales exceeded the pulpwood sales. The significance of thinning seems not be fully understood in the farms. Especially standing sales of timber was important for the economy of the farms.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The economy of the forestry in private farms in Southern Finland was studied based on the statistics compiled by the Board of Agriculture, and published in the series Tutkimuksia Suomen maatalouden kannattavaisuudesta (Investigations into the profitability of agriculture in Finland). The results present income, expenditure, assets, gross return, net return of the forests in the farms in 1924‒1926. The annual net return of the smallest farms (<10 ha forest land) was 884 Finnish marks and in the largest (>100 ha forest land) 48,335 Finnish marks. The location of the farm influences greatly the net return. For instance, the transport costs of timber from the forest is higher in the larger farms. To utilize the advantages of management of a large forest area requires knowledge about forestry. In addition, the fellings were higher in the small farms during the period. The net return is greater in the private forests than in the state forests located in the same region. Agriculture gave the farms larger net return than the forestry.
The volume 34 of Acta Forestalia Fennica is a jubileum publication of professor Aimo Kaarlo Cajander. The PDF includes a summary in English.
The article is a review on the history of forestry in Pekkala estate, a private woodland estate in Ruovesi in Southern Finland. The estate had 7,300 hectares of land in 1929, of which 500 hectares were agricultural lands. It was owned by the Aminoff family since 1822.
The household wood harvesting of the tenants was considered a problem until the farms of the tenants (crofters) became independent in 1921, when the farms of the tenants were parceled out from the main estate. The shifting cultivation of tenants was banned already in 1824. Demand of wood was low until 1870s. in 1865 the freeing of regulation of sawmills increased the demand of wood in Finland, and gave start to significant timber sales in Pekkala estate. The first forest officers were hired in the estate at the time. The first guidelines of forest management for the estate were compiled in 1912, and the first survey of the forests was made in 1916, and repeated in 1922 and 1926. The fellings were planned in consideration of the growth of the forests.
The volume 34 of Acta Forestalia Fennica is a jubileum publication of professor Aimo Kaarlo Cajander. The PDF includes a summary in German.
Forests have been economically important for Finnish private forest owners at all times, but the use of forests has changed markedly since 1920s, when forests were mainly used for collecting household timber, and the cuttings were often exploitative because of the farmer’s need for money. The present situation is totally different. Need for household timber is marginally small, and private forestry produces mainly timber for sale. The sales of timber have increased, but due to better forest management the growing stock in the private forests has increased. The article discusses how the changes in values of forest owners has and will affect the stage of private forestry.
The aim of the study was to describe the total change of forest area in non-industrial private forest holdings in southeast Finland, 1986–1991. The average gross decrease of forest area was 1.7 hectares, whereas the average gross increase was 1.2 hectares. Consequently, the average size of holdings decreased from 32.5 to 32.0 hectares. The most important factors affecting the changes of forest area were the inheritance system, resulting in a decrease of 0.7 ha, and reclassification of forestry land, producing an increase of 0.4 ha per holding. The increase of small, under 10 ha holdings accounted for much of the structural change.
The PDF includes an abstract in English.
The government of Finland appointed a commission to study how the work of forest owners’ associations could be promoted. In 1936 there was 232 forest owners’ associations in Finland. They had 20,632 members, who owned 1,841,304 hectares of forests. The owners of large forest holdings were overpresented among the members. The associations together with forestry boards were important actors in increasing the productivity of the private forests.
The commission concluded that rational forest management should be extended to all private forests, which could be best achieved through the forest owners’ associations. It suggested that the membership should remain voluntary, and that the financing of the associations would be arranged by self-taxation of the forest owners. The so called forest management tax should be devoted to the local forest owners’ associations. Also the state should continue to support the associations. Both state and the smallest forest holdings would be released from the forest management tax. The companies, estates and other large forest owners that employ their own forest management staff would pay a quarter of the tax. The tax could be based on the area of the forest, income of the timber sold or a combination of these. The commission suggested a forest management law, which would deal with the forest management tax and the forest owners’ associations.
The PDF includes a summary in Swedish and English.
As the use and value of forests have increased, forests have been managed more as a business. Financial bookkeeping defines the production costs of wood, costs of forest management work, investments in forest improvement, taxes and administrative costs, income from the sales of forest products etc. Bookkeeping reports the annual costs and income in the forestry, but does not give information of the future profits or appropriate organization of the economy of forestry.
The author introduces a system that he calls “metsänhoitoteknillinen tarkkailu” (silvicultural monitoring), which would give economic information of the forestry, and could also replace a forest management plan in the private forests. The bookkeeping system will list in detail the volumes and areas of fellings and silvicultural measures in different years, and deduce the sustainability of the use of forests and future incomes in forestry.
The PDF includes a summary in German.