Factors of production in the sheep sector -project (in Finnish Lammastalouden tuotannontekijät LaTu -hanke)

This is information channel for the “Factors of production in the sheep sector” -project.
Here you can read about project results and events, etc. :sheep:

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Factors of production in the sheep sector- project (LaTu-hanke)

This project is run by Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, JAMK with ProAgria South Ostrobothnia. It has started in 01.10.2019 and the project will run until 31.12.2021. The focus groups are sheep farmers in the project area Central Finland and South Ostrobothnia, and those who are planning to become a sheep farmer.

Factors of production in the sheep sector- project is aiming to help sheep farmers to develop their business to the next level. In Finland sheep farms are often small and farmers don´t always have much experience of the sheep before they became sheep farmers. So, this project aims to share information about sheep´s feeding and welfare, technological and production ways, and also how to make sheep farm profitable. Farmers own welfare is also one of the key elements in sheep production, so that´s one of the themes in this project too. Focus is in small groups in Central Finland and South Ostrobothnia area, education days with chancing themes, study trips and study materials and also webinars.

Themes of studying in this project are:

  1. Feeding, feed and pasture
  2. Field cultivation and grass
  3. Economy and marketing
  4. Sheep welfare
  5. Breeding
  6. Other sheep products, environmental values and farmers welfare

Factor of production in the sheep sector- project has also many partners of rural industry. And it´s hoping to have good network with sheep farmer and sheep interest groups. This project is interconnected with Mainland Finnish Development Programme and it´s themes. Project founding comes on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and Central Finland and South Ostrobothnia Centre for Business, Transport and Environment (ELY-keskus).

More information (in Finnish) available:


The results of the Factors of production in the sheep sector (LaTu) -project so far

The project started in October 2019. Since then, we have organised several education events.

We have had three education days, which themes were feeding, sheep health and welfare, and grass cultivation. Feeding themed education day was held by our own sheep specialists Sini and Milla. Subjects of the day were basics of sheep feeding, feeding strategies and different feeding systems. Because we have sheepfarmers own health and welfare as one of our education themes, we had a short relationship lecture in the days program too. The themes of the sheep health education day was the most common diseases and parasites of sheep. The event was instructed by a veterinarian specialised in sheep production. Farmers welfare part was a lecture about stress handling and recovery. Grass cultivation education day’s themes were soil structure, establishment of grass, and silage harvesting, preservation and storage. Our own cultivation experts act as lecturers of the day.

Our online grass cultivation day in the spring included a practical part, in which cultivation specialist illustrated the structure of the soil

We have also organised local small group education. In winter we had two feeding focused small groups which delved more deeply into sheep feeding skills.

The small group members got acquainted with the carcass classification as a measure of feeding at the slaughterhouse

The spring was affected by COVID-19, so we did all our courses online. We also had few short webinar lectures on various topics. Now the restrictions here in Finland have eased. In this summer we will start local small groups about grass production. These groups focus on cultivation, harvest and economics.

First small group day in Central Finland

Factors of production in sheep sector-project held the first small group education day last week in Petäjävesi at Central Finland. The themes of this education day were, how to estimate how much crop you will get at fields, what different methods there are to do estimate the crop quantity, what plant protection things you need to take into consideration and studying the flora specimen analysis. We did have a specialist of the grass subjects, Juhani Peltola from Central Finland ProAgria and sheep specialist Sini Sillanpää from South Ostrobothnia ProAgria with us.

In the fields we did study the methods how to estimate crop quantity and we did do a roughly estimate of plant population. After this we did talk about grazing things.

When you do a crop, quantity estimate there is no shortcuts, according Juhani. Every method has its own pros and cons and none of them gives you 100% result which would tell you the truthful situation. These methods give you only an estimate. But these results are closely enough that they help you to plan your next steps in the field. Observing the field, you can see if there is some kind of problems in the plants. If your plants have lack of nutrients it can be noted on the plants leaves. Observing the plant population, you can also notice if there is too much weeds. These things make a big difference at the crop quantity. If your field is full of weeds the main crop won’t have enough space to grow. Or at other way around if you have good and dense grass there is no room for the weeds to grow.

One of the most critical things on growing grass is the health of the soil. When the soil is good and fluffy plants can get nutrients and water out of it to plants roots. If the soil is dense and poor it will be very hard to grow good grass.

Sini told us how to know when the field is grazed enough and how tall the grass needs to be for sheep. She had a grazing ground stick, which helps to estimate is the grass high enough for the lamb or sheep. If the top of grass is in the red zone its either too low or too high for sheep to graze. In the green zone it’s perfect.

After field observation went back to the farm and studied flora specimen analysis which were taken before this day from those fields. We learn many new things of them. For example, we got information about the field fertilization and to be precis, more precisely nitrogen fertilization. Overall the day was very rewarding, and we all learned a lot of new things. We have another part of this small group studying in the fall and then we study more about soils health.

The same in Finnish:


This has definitely been a very interesting day! Good pasture is an important part of sheep breeding, especially for lamb growth and ewe rehabilitation. All fields and crops should be monitored, regardless of use. And you will learn best from practical examples!

That grazing ground stick looks like a handy tool for monitoring pasture growth.