The Korhonen farm in Tervo, Finland, uses a Valtra N113 HiTech to maintain its forests and fields for game management. Nature is everything to this family’s active hunters, who manage their farm with respect for the environment. In this they rely on their Valtra.
Antti Korhonen and his son Mikko are active nature lovers and hunters. Their family farm focuses on game management and supporting activities. Their work consists mainly of forest management, arable farming and snow ploughing, and their Valtra N113 HiTech is used for all suitable tasks.
In addition to routine farming operations and snow ploughing, the Korhonens use their Valtra tractor for game management, including feeding waterfowl, maintaining game fields and winter-feeding.
“We are comprehensively involved in game management in many ways – we do it year-round. We are accustomed to looking after waterfowl and wild game in the forests by feeding and managing the terrain. Our farm affords us excellent opportunities to do both, and the size of our farm provides plenty of security and living space for different species,” says Mikko Korhonen.
The Korhonens begin feeding the waterfowl each year early in springtime to encourage them to nest and to improve their habitat. The birds are fed by scattering grain grown on the farm around the islands. Here the birds may nest in safety and it is beneficial once the hunting season begins as the birds remain close to the feeding areas.
“We become very familiar with the bird’s flight paths and landing areas, so it’s easy to plan the best hunting spots since we are on our own land,” Mikko explains.
The Korhonens recently replaced their Valtra 6350 HiTech with a new N113 HiTech.
“Many game management tasks can be handled quite conveniently by tractor, and many farming and forestry tasks are indirectly beneficial for wild game and ecology. The Valtra’s front loader makes it easy to spread grains along the shorelines to feed the waterfowl, and in wintertime the tractor makes it easy to transport hay to the feeding areas in the forest,” Antti Korhonen says.
“Our Valtra is also a big help for maintaining ditches around fields and in general getting about the land,” Mikko adds.
The Korhonens consider their N113 HiTech to be the ideal tractor for their needs, combining comfort and ease of use with agility and a powerful engine. Antti specified a front loader, air conditioning and full belly protection for the farm’s new Valtra, as well as fully locking differentials, which are essential for forestry work.
“We were able to specify our Valtra with all the features we need for our tasks as a complete tailor-made package. The N113 HiTech is an agile and modern tractor that is ideal for both farming and forestry operations. The availability of servicing and spare parts, as well as sensible pricing, were important criteria when selecting a new tractor,” Antti confirms.
“Even though we do a lot of hunting here, our tractor has to handle many other tasks in addition to game management. In these tough working conditions, the new Valtra has proven to be a tough and reliable tractor with great ergonomics,” Antti adds. •
ABC of game management on farms:
- Respect nature and the natural behaviour of animals when farming.
- Plan farming and forest management to support animal populations.
- Continue feeding the animals even in wintertime.
- When clearing forests, leave enough trees for birds to perch on in their natural habitats.
- By maintaining wetlands in addition to game fields on your land, you can support waterfowl and enrich the natural biotopes in your surroundings. These game management activities are eligible for EU subsidies in most countries.
- Leave unharvested areas along the edges of fields to foster wintering animals.
- When planning fields and ditches, consider ways in which they can be used best for hunting. This includes hiding places, paths and feedings areas.
How to maintain fields for wild game (game fields):
- Select appropriate field in terms of the animals’ natural habitats and convenient access. The proximity of water is always a bonus. Visibility is also vital for many animals, so make sure your game field is in a sufficiently open area.
- Always get the landowner’s consent if you are leasing the land.
- Consider in advance which animals you want to attract and what kind of a field is required for this purpose.
- Select your crops and the field type according to local animal populations.
- Begin the summer before seeding by conditioning and fertilising the field. Drainage ditches may also be required.
- Add fertiliser to the field according to the type of crops you have selected. For example, forage kale requires a lot of nitrogen fertilisers, whereas forage rape requires much less.
- Next comes planting and drilling. Ideal plants include grains that attract birds, cabbages and peas attract elk. The plants should be planted according to how they grow and how they will be used. For example, cabbages should be planted in rows with grains or peas around them.
- Lean-to shelters can be built to facilitate feeding in winter-time. Any hides and hunting towers that you require should be constructed when planning your game field.
- When cultivating grains, leave some areas around the outside or preferably even in the middle unharvested to provide natural winter-feeding areas for wild game especially grouse.