A lot of fish was sold in 2017

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2017, aquaculture enterprises sold 870 tonnes of commercial fish and crayfish, with a total value of 3.7 million euros. The volume of aquaculture production sold in 2017 was highest of the last five years.

In 2017, a record quantity of commercial fish and crayfish was sold. The quantity was only slightly smaller in 2014, when 869 tonnes was sold. The production of commercial fish and crayfish has remained at such a level for the last five years – the volume of aquaculture production sold in 2013 was 733 tonnes, whereas in 2017, the total quantity sold was 6% higher.

Rainbow trout has been cultivated and sold the most in Estonia throughout the years. The share of rainbow trout has increased year by year. In 2013, rainbow trout accounted for 63% of the total quantity of commercial fish and crayfish sold; in 2017, the share was 81%. In 2017, the quantity of rainbow trout sold was 702 tonnes, with a total value of slightly over 2.6 million euros – this was also the highest quantity sold throughout the years.

The European crayfish was sold in the amount of 0.8 tonnes, the production volume has increased 1.2 times compared to 2016. The monetary value of the European crayfish production increased approximately 1.1 times compared to 2016.

In addition to rainbow trout and the European crayfish, other fish species are farmed and sold – the Arctic char, the European eel, the African sharptooth catfish, common carp, wels catfish, sturgeons (the Siberian and Russian sturgeon) and grass carp.

The amount of fish roe for consumption sold in 2017 totalled 3.8 tonnes, which is approximately 1.1 tonnes less than in 2016. The monetary value of sold production decreased 1.1 times. In 2017, the value of sold fish roe for consumption totalled slightly over 115,000 euros, while in 2016, it was 127,800 euros.

In 2017, of the total production of commercial fish and grayfish, 5% was exported, which is 4 percentage points less than in 2016. Mainly the European eel and to a lesser extent the rainbow trout and the European crayfish were exported.Aquaculture production sold, 1998–2017

Statistics Estonia collects aquaculture data by surveying all enterprises with the principal or secondary activity of aquaculture. The frame of the surveyed enterprises has been compiled based on the register of enterprises recognised by the Estonian Fish Farmers Association and the Veterinary and Food Board, and on the data of the Statistical Profile. For the statistical activity “Aquaculture”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Rural Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Milk production increased slightly

According to the preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, the production of milk amounted to 791,800 tonnes in 2017, which is 1% more than the year before. The number of dairy cows increased slightly by the end of the year and also the average annual milk production per cow increased.

On 31 December 2017, the number of bovines in Estonia was 251,300, including 88,400 dairy cows. Compared to the same time of the previous year, the number of bovines increased by 1% and the number of dairy cows by 0.3%. The number of dairy cows has shown a downward trend over the past twenty years, with small increases in between. Today, it is again increasing slightly. At the same time, the average milk yield per cow has continuously increased. In 2017, the average milk yield per cow was 9,159 kilograms, i.e. 281 kilograms more than in 2016.

At the end of the year, there were 284,500 pigs and 86,800 sheep and goats in Estonia. The number of pigs increased by 7% and the number of sheep and goats decreased by 4% compared to the same time in 2016. At the end of the year, there were 2.2 million poultry, which is 3% more than at the end of 2016.

In 2017, the production of eggs amounted to 202.5 million, which is 2% more than in 2016. 106,200 tonnes (live weight) of livestock and poultry were sold for slaughter (incl. exports) and slaughtered in holdings; the production of meat (live weight) decreased by 9% compared to the previous year. The production of beef, pork, mutton and goat meat decreased, while the production of poultrymeat increased.Milk production per cow, 1994–2017

The statistics are based on the data of the register of farm animals of the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB) and on the data of Estonian Livestock Performance Recording Ltd, which by using models have been converted to the format necessary for producing statistics. In addition, the data of statistical questionnaires “Poultry. Quarter” and “Pigs. Quarter” have been used, the deadline of which was 8 January 2018. Statistics Estonia published the preliminary yearly summary of livestock farming in 12 working days. For the statistical activity “Livestock farming and meat production”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Rural Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting this statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Good yield slightly compensated for harvesting losses

According to Statistics Estonia, the average yield of cereals was 3,967 tonnes per hectare in 2017. This is a very good result given the weather conditions in the previous year.

The total cereal production in 2017 was 1,311,900 tonnes, of which 713,300 tonnes was wheat, 425,700 tonnes barley and 52,400 tonnes rye. The average yield per hectare was 4,202 kilograms for wheat, 4,154 kilograms for barley and 3,932 kilograms for rye.

In 2017, the sown area of cereals was smaller than the year before. Cereals were grown on a total of 330,700 hectares, which is 5.9% less than in the preceding year. The sown area of wheat was 169,800 hectares, which is 3.2% more than in 2016. The sown area of barley decreased by 24.2% and amounted to 102,500 hectares. The sown area of rye increased by 7.3% compared to the preceding year and was 13,300 hectares.

The production of legumes was 75,300 tonnes, which is 31.2% less than in 2016. The average yield was 1,149 kilograms of legumes per hectare. Legumes were sown on 65,500 hectares, which is 18.2% more than in 2016. This is also the largest sown area of legumes ever.

The production of rape and turnip rape seed was 165,300 tonnes. In 2017, rape and turnip rape were sown on 73,800 hectares. The average yield was 2,240 kilograms of rape and turnip rape seed per hectare.

The production of potatoes was 91 200 tonnes, which is 1.6% more than the year before. The sown area of potatoes was 5,400 hectares in 2017. The average yield of potatoes was 16,925 kilograms per hectare.

The statistics are based on the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB) land use data and statistical questionnaire “Crop production”, the deadline of which was 1 November 2017. Statistics Estonia published the yearly summary of the data in 58 working days. For the statistical activity “Crop production”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Rural Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting this statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia

17 pct more pesticides than in the previous year

According to Statistics Estonia, 834 tonnes of pesticides (by active substance) were placed on the market in Estonia in 2016, which is 17% more than in the previous year. The quantity of sold pesticides continues to increase.

Compared to 2015, the quantity of pesticides placed on the market was 143 tonnes higher, with the greatest year-on-year increase in the quantity of sold herbicides (up by 132 tonnes). Fungicides was the only group of pesticides where sales decreased. In 2011, the quantity of sold pesticides was 461 tonnes and has since doubled.

There aren’t many importers of pesticides in Estonia, but the number of sellers increases every year. The majority of pesticides can be bought and used without special permission, they are sold in gardening and hardware stores as well as at the market. Besides agriculture, pesticides have been used for a long time also in forestry, wood processing, in maintaining edges of roads and railways, on sports grounds and playgrounds as well as in parks and households.

Pesticides placed on the market are pesticides bought abroad and brought to Estonia for sales. Pesticides are used as weed, plant pest, parasite and insect killers. The characteristics of pesticides (stability, low solubility in water and high solubility in fats) lead to their accumulation in living organisms and food-chains. Depending on the biochemical processes that the pesticides block, their toxicity to human organisms varies (cancerogenic, teratogenic, estrogenic impact, etc.). The use of pesticides can fluctuate yearly depending on climate conditions and variability in plant damages and diseases.

For the statistical activity “Sales of pesticides”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Rural Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting this statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Harvesting is halfway to completion

According to Statistics Estonia, by 15 September, 57% of the sown area of cereals, 47% of the sown area of rape and turnip rape, and 49% of the area under potatoes had been harvested in Estonia.

By the same time last year, 91% of the sown area of cereals, 49% of the sown area of rape and turnip rape and 50% of the area under potatoes had been harvested.

Due to unfavourable weather conditions, ripening and harvesting of crops were delayed by many weeks. As a consequence, 77% of winter crops and only 45% of summer crops have been harvested. Among winter crops, 78% of winter wheat and 76% of rye, and from spring crops, 63% of barley, 51% of oats and 19% of spring wheat have been harvested. 92% of winter rape and winter turnip rape and only 8% of spring rape and spring turnip rape have been harvested. Of legumes, only 24% has been harvested.

According to preliminary data, in 2017, cereals were grown on 330,700 hectares in Estonia, of which 57% has been harvested for grain. One hectare of the harvested area gave on average 4,537 kilograms of cereals, with the average yield per hectare being 4,389 kilograms for rye, 4,777 kilograms for wheat, 4,584 kilograms for barley and 3,196 kilograms for oats. A part of cereals sown for grain will be harvested for green fodder. Legumes were grown on 65,800 hectares and yield per harvested hectare was 2,670 kilograms.

Rape and turnip rape were grown on 73,700 hectares. Most of winter rape and winter turnip rape has been harvested, while most of spring rape and spring turnip rape has not been harvested yet. One hectare of the harvested area gave on average 2,953 kilograms of rape seeds and turnip rape seeds.

Potatoes were grown on 5,400 hectares, of which 49% has been harvested. One hectare of the harvested area gave on average 19,025 kilograms of potatoes.

The statistics are based on the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB) land use data and statistical questionnaire “Yields (as of 15 September)”, the deadline of which was 15 September 2017. Statistics Estonia published the summary of the preliminary data in seven working days. For the statistical activity “Crop production”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Rural Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting this statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Record amount of fish and crayfish sold last year

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2016, aquaculture enterprises sold 868 tonnes of commercial fish and crayfish, with a total value of 3.7 million euros. The volume of aquaculture production sold in 2016 was among the highest in 20 years.

While in 2014, a record amount (869 tonnes) of commercial fish and crayfish was sold, the volume of production sold in 2016 was only 0.1% smaller. The main increase in the fish and crayfish production has occurred in the past five years: compared to 2012, the volume of aquaculture production sold has increased 1.5 times.
In Estonia, rainbow trout accounts for the biggest share in the aquaculture production sold and the share has increased year by year. While in 2015, the share of rainbow trout in the total fish and crayfish production was 70%, in 2016 it was 78%. In 2016, the amount of rainbow trout sold was 680 tonnes, with a total value of 2.6 million euros – this is also the highest quantity sold in 20 years.

The monetary value of the European crayfish production increased nearly 1.2 times compared to 2015. In 2016, the European crayfish was sold in the amount of 0.7 tonnes, which is 1.1 times more than in 2015.

In addition to the rainbow trout and the European crayfish, other fish species are farmed and sold (perch, the Arctic char, the European eel, the African sharptooth catfish, common carp, silver carp, wels catfish, sturgeons (the Siberian and Russian sturgeons) and grass carp).

The amount of fish roe for consumption sold in 2016 totalled 4.9 tonnes, which is approximately 1.5 times less than in 2015. Also the monetary value of production decreased 1.5 times. In 2016, the value of fish roe for consumption sold totalled 127,800 euros, while in 2015, it was 197,000 euros.

In 2016, of the total production of commercial fish and crayfish, 9% was exported – 2 percentage points more than in 2015. Mainly the European eel and to a lesser extent sturgeons, perch, rainbow trout and the European crayfish were exported.

Statistics Estonia collects aquaculture data by surveying all enterprises with the principal or secondary activity of aquaculture. The frame of the surveyed enterprises has been compiled based on the register of enterprises recognised by the Estonian Fish Farmers Association and the Veterinary and Food Board, and on the data of the Statistical Profile. For the statistical activity “Aquaculture”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Rural Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia

The number of agricultural holdings continues to decrease

According to Statistics Estonia, the preliminary results of the Farm Structure Survey 2016 indicate that there were 16,700 agricultural holdings with at least one hectare of agricultural area or agricultural holdings mainly producing for sale in Estonia, which is approximately 2,500 holdings less than three years ago.

Although the number of dairy and pig farmers has decreased in the last three years, it appears that they have mainly reorganised their activities. The agricultural holdings that have terminated their activities are likely primarily the ones that only maintain their lands, i.e. agricultural holdings with no agricultural production, but whose permanent grassland maintained in good agricultural and environmental conditions is also considered as utilised agricultural area. This is a logical result of administrative restrictions. The agricultural area has not been removed from use, but is now in the possession of active agricultural producers.

Whereas the number of small holdings has decreased many times over a long period (by 6,600 holdings in the last ten years), the size of agricultural area has experienced a growth trend for a while. It has increased by more than 88,000 hectares in ten years, incl. by more than 37,000 hectares in the last three years, and already amounts to 995,000 hectares.

As of 1 September 2016, there were 6,970 holdings in Estonia that kept farm animals, poultry or bees. In the past decade, the number of holdings with animals has decreased by two times. The number of holdings engaged in cattle and pig farming as well as sheep and poultry farming has decreased. Mainly holdings of natural persons with a small number of animals have terminated their livestock farming activities. In the last three years, 790 holdings, i.e. every third, finished keeping dairy herds. Two thirds of them kept 1–2 cows for their own consumption purposes. Especially noticeable is the five-fold decrease in the number of pig farmers. Whereas until 2013 livestock farming increased also in terms of livestock units despite major decline in the number of livestock farmers, in the last three years it has decreased mainly as a result of reduction in dairy herds and pig farming.

As a result of constantly increasing concentration, Estonian agriculture has developed a structure where 1,300 holdings, i.e. 8% of total number of holdings, provide 81% of the total agricultural output. They use 67% of utilised agricultural area and in their possession is 81% of livestock farming, measured in livestock units. Although the number of dairy cows in large holdings has decreased in the past three years, the majority of dairy cows (63%) are still kept in holdings with at least 300 animals. Almost all pig farming is now in large holdings, and 97% of pigs are kept in holdings with at least 1,000 pigs. Poultry farming is also very concentrated in Estonia – 97% of poultry are kept in poultry houses with at least 1,000 poultry.

Despite the continuous decrease in the number of small holdings, their large share still characterises Estonian agriculture. Holdings with economic size less than 4,000 euros constitute 54% of the total number of holdings, but all together they yield less than 2% of total standard output of agricultural holdings. While production concentration into larger holdings is characteristic of the entire European Union, a large share of small holdings with minimum output is more typical of Eastern European countries.

Along with the concentration in production, the share of rented land has increased year by year. While ten years ago, the share of rented land was 55% of agricultural area, it had reached already 65% in 2016. In the past three years, the share of rented land and other tenure (mainly land used free of charge) has increased by 4%. Agricultural land is rented more by larger legal persons. While the share of owned land constituted the majority (77%) of the agricultural area of holdings with less than 10 hectares and about 35% of the agricultural area of holdings with 50 to 100 hectares (the rest being rented land and other tenure), it constituted only about 30% of the agricultural area of holdings with at least 100 hectares, the majority of the agricultural area being rented land.

The Farm Structure Survey 2016 was organised by harmonised methodology and with co-funding from the European Commission in all European Union member states. The Farm Structure Survey provided data also about the labour force of agricultural holdings, production methods and rural development. Statistics Estonia conducted the survey in Estonia. All data about Estonia are published in 2017.

Source: Statistics Estonia