Dairy industry planning more cuts ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonia is looking for new markets for cheese, yogurt, powdered milk and other dairy products.
Estonia is looking for new markets for cheese, yogurt, powdered milk and other dairy products. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

After the Perevara dairy farm in Jõgeva County announced 75 lay-offs, closing three out of its four farms, more companies are planning to go down the same route, and herd numbers could be decreased by as much as 8 percent, or 8,000 animals, this year.

Delfi reported that 25 dairy farms are planning to decrease milk production or stop it entirely. That would currently amount to about 3,500 fewer dairy cattle, but that figure could grow to 8,000 by the end of the year, according to the Animal Breeders Association.

“We are now planning to reorganize the company's direction, to grow wheat on 4,000 hectares and continue with a small dairy herd. I would not rule out increasing the herd again if the situation improves,” Alo Teder, the head of Perevara, said. He hopes to sell the excess animals to Latvia, Poland or Russia.

Tanel Bulitko, the head of the breeders association, said layoffs are a catastrophe in rural areas, adding that farmers have also started to cut back on the quality of the animal feed, decreasing the health of the herds. He said those farms which have made no significant investments will be the first to close, as they have the least to loose.

Last year 800,000 tons of milk was produced in Estonia, 4 percent more than in the previous year. Herd numbers decreased slightly, but productivity per cow increased.

Editor: J.M. Laats

Easter Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting productionEaster Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting production
Estonia’s Easter Monday time loop: Discussing an additional day off

Every year, Estonia reliably asks itself the question whether or not Easter Monday should be made a public holiday. Opinions differ. While one side emphasizes the importance of family time, the other thinks an additional day off would threaten economic growth.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.