Swedish use case (Cold climate)

The map shows where the two regions are situated in Sweden. Agriculture in the two regions is dominated by milk and meat production. A larger portion of the arable land is utilized for ley cultivation in these regions compared to Sweden as a whole.

Västerbotten and Norrbotten

In Sweden, efforts are underway to enhance land use efficiency in Västerbotten and Norrbotten by establishing and optimizing a value chain for turnip rape cultivation in northern Sweden.

The majority of this value chain operates locally, involving various stakeholders such as farmers, machinery stations, technology providers, and biogas plants. The buyers of biodiesel encompass both regional and non-regional entities.

The main biophysical constraint in these regions is low temperatures and a very short cultivation season. The vegetation period, defined as the number of days with an average daily temperature exceeding 5°C, spans 139 days in the region. The ripening time for spring turnip rape is approximately 110-120 days. A value below 180 days vegetation period is defined as marginal. The accumulated heat sum, the daily difference between the average temperature and 5°C throughout the year, amounts to around 900°C in these regions. A value below 1500°C days is classified as marginal.

To address pests and diseases, turnip rape should not be included in the crop rotation more frequently than every fifth to sixth year. This consideration has been factored into the map.

The farm in Skellefteå

In 2023, a 1.5 hectare field in Djupliden Skellefteå will be cultivated with spring turnip rape. The area will be increased to 2.5 hectares in 2024. The harvested material will be utilized to produce biodiesel. Turnip rape can improve soil qualities and productivity when used in rotation with cereal crops. This crop is suitable for colder climates and can serve as a rotation crop in a crop rotation dominated by feed crops.

Socioeconomic factors

Population – The region exhibits a low population density, with a predominantly elderly population. In the last 50 years the population structure has changed significantly with a large growth in the number of older people and a sharp decrease in the number of younger people.

Long distances – A specific challenge that the two use case regions have to address is the long distances. This challenge is particularly prominent in the rural areas of these regions, while the distances between towns along the coast are relatively shorter.

For further details please consult this report Deliverable 1.1. Available marginal lands map with relevant stakeholders