Improving food and feed security in the Nordic and Baltic region by using appropriate crop rotations
Dept. Agricultural Sciences, PL 27 (Latokartanonkaari 5), 00014 University ofHelsinki, Finland; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Rotations in the Nordic and Baltic region are, as elsewhere in Europe, heavily biased towards cereals. Broadleaved crops in general, and grain legumes in particular, offer a range of environmental and agricultural benefits that are inadequately exploited in this region. This article reviews some of the options available to the region. Brassica oilseeds can be used as catch crops, cover crops and biofumigants, as well as for their oil and protein-rich meal. Fibre hemp is a good soil-cleaning crop with excellent bioenergy potential. Grain legumes produce food and animal feed locally while contributing positively to soil health, and are particularly under-exploited regionally, in spite of the availability of suitable germplasm. The prospects for using mainstream alternative crops in regional rotations are therefore very good and this use should lead to improved agricultural sustainability and economic viability.