OPAL-Life – Optimising agricultural land use as a climate change control tool

Association of ProAgria Centres

The OPAL-Life project aimed to reduce climate emissions from agriculture in line with the principle of sustainable intensification. This means developing agriculture in a direction where environmental benefits, farm profitability and productivity, and social aspects support each other.

Hernekasvustoa pellolla
OPAL Life oma hankelogo

Agriculture and food production operate in a complex environment where a wide range of economic and political factors have to be considered, in addition to fields, weather and infrastructure. The European Union and Finland's national agricultural policies have a major influence on what is grown, on what scale, and how it can all be profitable. Agricultural subsidies are an important part of the daily life of almost every Finnish farmer.

The OPAL-Life project investigated how land use could be optimised by correctly allocating inputs, that is, increasing them on high-yielding parcels and reducing them on low-yielding parcels. This allows better yields from the best parcels of land, and allows lower yielding parcels to be directed to other uses. These measures can result in climate benefits, for example by reducing the area under intensive tillage and increasing the proportion of perennial vegetation. Read more about the project activities on OPAL-Life website.

In order to ensure that the results of the project can be applied as widely as possible in Finland and in other regions in Europe with similar production conditions, OPAL-Life was introduced in four regions in Finland. The regions were chosen because they represented the different soil types and production directions in Finland as comprehensively as possible. The existence of readily available data and research results, as well as an active advisory network, was also an important factor. In the OPAL-Life project, ProAgria played a special role as a facilitator of cooperation and communication between farmers.

See the detailed composition of the consortium and budget on the EU website.

This project has received funding from the European Commission LIFE programme under grant agreement LIFE14 CCM/FI/000254.