FARAVID 35/2011


Jarmo Pulkkinen, ”Everything here is on a gigantic scale and the field of activity so wide” – Agronomist Rosenqvist as an AIV-method salesman in the United States and Canada

Gustaf Lennart Rosenqvist (1890–1974) left his mark on the history of Finnish science and technology with his work on the diffusion of the AIV method. The AIV method was a fodder preservation method based on an artificial acidification of fresh fodder below pH 4. It was invented in 1928 by Finnish biochemist Artturi Ilmari Virtanen (1895–1973). In the 1930s, Rosenqvist had an instrumental role in the attempts to spread the AIV method outside Finland. Between 1933 and 1936, he made three long trips to United States and Canada negotiating with potential buyers of the method. His work was a partial success. Lionel J. Chapman, a Kansas City dairyman, bought the rights of the AIV method in the United States in 1935. Canada Packers Limited financed practical tests of the method at fifty Canadian dairy farms in the summer of 1936. Furthermore, the AIV method was studied at several universities.

However, the final breakthrough of the AIV method never happened, being prevented by technical, commercial and scientific reasons. The most difficult technical obstacle was the cumbersome AIV solution, i.e. a mixture of sulphuric and hydrochloric acid. Virtanen’s attempts to replace it with sulfuryl chloride, a compound existing also in a solid form, were unsuccessful due to patent disputes and economic reasons. Furthermore, Chapman lacked the necessary financial means to effectively promote the diffusion of the AIV method in the United States. Finally, instead of the AIV method, influential agricultural research stations recommended the use of molassed silage.  

Faravid 35/2011