Agriculture production at record levels despite Russian food import ban

A rape field in full bloom Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
1/28/2015 1:05 PM
Category: Economy

Milk production in Estonia increased for the fifth straight year in a row, while the cereal haul was 25 percent higher than in 2013, and the best ever year on record.

A total of 1,222,000 tons of grain was harvested, of which around half was wheat, 460,000 tons barley and 50,000 tons rye.

The total area used for growing cereal was 7 percent higher in 2014 compared to the previous year, adding up to 333,000 hectares.

The potato yield dropped 8 percent compared to 2013.

With state officials traveling the globe looking for new markets for dairy products, milk production figures showed growth in 2014. A total of 800,000 tons of milk was produced, up 4 percent in a year.

As of December 31, Estonia had 265,000 cattle, of which 95,000 were daily cattle. Both numbers remained fairly stable, with only the dairy herd decreased 3 percent.

Dairy herd numbers have been on the decline in the past decade, but milk yield per cow has increased, with average now standing at 8,200 kilograms, up from less than 3,500 in 1994. Last year's growth was less dramatic, with the average yield increasing 2.6 percent.

Pig numbers also remained stable at 360,000, while the number of sheep and goats grew by 4 percent to 90,000.

Russia imposed an import ban on all EU foods, hitting the Estonian dairy industry especially hard. Milk prices have dropped from an average of around 400 euros per ton to 250 euros in less than a year.

J.M. Laats

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