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Tuesday's papers: Small harvest, drug-dependent youth and mosquito multiplication

The newspapers on Tuesday cover a disappointing grain harvest, care for drug-dependent young people and the surprising beneficiaries of hot weather.

ruikiin tähkiä
Rye harvests are forecast to be small in Finland this year. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Rural daily Maaseudun Tulevaisuus reports on Tuesday that Finland is facing its smallest grain harvest since the year 2000. Projections from the Natural resources Institute of Finland suggest the grain harvest will be some 2.8 billion kilograms, around a third smaller than the largest harvest this millenium in 2009.

Rye is particularly hard-hit by the dry, hot weather, with estimates of the harvest of Finland's staple grain down 57 percent. Wheat is down 30 percent, barley 13 percent and oats 12 percent.

That means that Finland might have to import rye to make its favourite bread this year.

MS also covers producer prices for milk products, which hit 36.41 cents per litre on the Finnish market, which is five cents higher than the cost of a litre of the white stuff on the Dutch wholesale market.

Breaking the cycle

Helsingin Sanomat follows up on a previous story about drug use among certain circles of young people in Espoonlahti, looking this time at parents' views on care arrangements for their intoxicant-using offspring.

Once authorities realise children have a problem, they quickly place the youngsters in care or with foster families. Hesari reports parents saying that this does not, however, always solve the problem.

One problem is that the foster homes are often in the same cities as the children's social circles, so it's easy for them to maintain the same friendships and relationships which have been based on drug use. Another issue is the regular 'home leave' stints children have when in care: every weekend in some cases.

Back home, children find it even easier to see their old friends, make their old contacts and buy substances from wherever they used to procure them. They then take the substances back to the residential care home, say the two parents interviewed for the story.

The parents want stronger action from the authorities. At present their ability to intervene seems limited, and HS reports the parents are concerned about the possibility their kids might never kick their habits.

Once they hit 18, children in care can reject further contact with social services and take their financial support and apartment. Many of those with substance abuse problems are completely unprepared for that kind of freedom, admitted social workers in the HS story. One possible solution would be to raise the age limit for 'after care' to 25 from the current 21, enabling children leaving care to seek extra support if and when they're ready.

Good summer for mosquitos

Ilta-Sanomat covers one aspect of the current heatwave not quite as pleasant as hot, sunny weather: mosquitos. The hot weather might mean a second brood hatches soon, giving a new impetus to a mosquito season that had started to ease off after the spring.

Finland's regions have seen different levels of mosquito activity, according to insect researcher Raima Leinonen as quoted in IS. In some places there have been huge numbers of the tiny blood-suckers, whereas elsewhere there's been almost no mosquito activity.

While mosquitos prefer damp, mild weather to excessive heat, the same cannot be said for the horsefly, whose bites are considerably more painful. Horseflies love the heat but--luckily for lovers of the Finnish countryside--their season will shortly draw to a close.

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