A land use action plan will be produced for all of the demonstration farms participating to OPAL-Life -project. With this action we do not only produce the maps indicating suggested land use changes but also consider their impacts on the total production of the farm. The provided land use optimisation plans for pilot farms are discussed with farmers and their match with current land use compared. To facilitate the farm scale assessments of changes in productivity, environmental impacts and economics, also farms of Luke are included as additional testbeds in the land use planning and impact assessment processes, because it enables to verify the improvements in the yields of intensified fields according to yield gap analyses.
Implementation of land use optimisation tool
The pilot version of the land use optimisation tool will be applied by producing the maps for pilot farms. As a result of that, a map showing which fields of the farms are allocated to sustainable intensification, extensification and afforestation is produced. These maps also serve as the start point for monitoring of cumulative environmental impacts.
Characterising potential for farm scale diversification
In addition to identify along with land use allocation plant the effects of sustainable intensification on farm landscapes, we anticipate the potential changes in crop rotations of a farm when only medium to high quality, responsive fields are allocated for food production. As the climate change effects may be dramatic and open doors for currently underutilized crops, we use available information from earlier research projects about the timing of introduction of these minor crops into large-scale cultivation depending on region.
Monitoring impacts of land use changes on production capacities at farm scale
Intensification and more efficient input use in high productivity fields that remain in food production (i.e., intensified fields) are monitored by farmers yield estimation and measurement when possible and by using existing and provided satellite based data and statistical modelling approach to estimate the potential enhancement in yields and changes in yield gaps. Also farmer experience of the highest yields per prime food production fields are used as reference of achievable potential yields.
Monitoring impacts of land use changes on production capacities at regional scale
By compiling all the estimated changes in production capacity per field and farm, regional changes in total production of stable crops are anticipated. The regional productivity estimates are compared to current regional total production to monitor changes in production also depending on balance between intensified and extensified fields in a region.
Discussions with the farmers will be based on information received from the above mentioned phases of the action, both regarding produced maps for the farm with intensified, extensified and afforested fields and estimated changes in farm scale production capacity of stable crops. All the information will be presented to the farmer and discussed through with him/her.
Already existing experiences from implementing the economic farm level model on different farm types will be utilized in Actions C2 and C3, through discussions in cross-team meetings. This includes sharing experiences on utilizing statistical data material from various sources such as land use and crop yield statistics, FADN data, and farm type specific data on the use of inputs and production costs (www.mtt.fi/economydoctor). Implementation of generic models on specific farms also includes certain types of validation and calibration procedures.