For farmers quitting the dairy industry, there is no way back, milk producers said at a forum on Tuesday, adding that raising a milk herd takes a long time.
The number of herds and cattle has decreased from 4,900 dairy herds and 100,000 cows in 2009 to 2,200 herds and 92,000 cows now.
The current situation where wholesale milk prices have dropped from a high of 40 cents per liter to 22 cents has made life difficult for dairy farmers.
Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce head Jaanus Murakas said pig herds can be repopulated quickly but with dairy herds, the situation is different. “Great many nations have measures to save farms which have been built up by our ancestors for decades or even hundreds of years from short-term crises,” Murakas said.
The state has earmarked an additional 10 million euros to aid farmers this year. Agriculture Minister Urmas Kruuse said dairy farmers should cooperate more. He said he understands that some farmers are quitting dairy farming with no plans to return once the situate improves.
Editor: J.M. Laats