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Number of cows in Estonia has dropped 10%

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Estonia cow
Dairy   The EU paid 12.6 million euros to support Estonian milk

The crisis of the milk market had caused the number of cows in Estonia to drop by 10% and the reduction probably will continue, the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce says.

"Unfortunately our warning from last summer that without resolute interference by the government the ongoing crisis will take away about one-tenth of the Estonian dairy herd is becoming true.

"We've already lost 9,000 milk cows since the Russian sanctions were imposed in the summer of 2014," Roomet Sormus, manager of the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce, said.

"The difficult situation in the milk sector shows no signs of improvement. The impact of the big drop in milk prices has been aggravated by the decision of the latest government coalitions not to pay to Estonian farmers some 70 million euros in transitional support during three years, which had been previously agreed in the European Union to compensate us for the low level of support here and avoid a downfall."

The EU paid 12.6 million euros in crisis support to Estonian milk producers last year, to which the Estonian government added or has pledged to add 6.3 million euros. This amount is not even enough to make up for the reduction in subsidies, not to speak of the drastic decline in price.

There were 90,500 milk cows in Estonia at the end of last year. The number of dairy farmers was 1,924, smaller by 387 or 17 percent than the year before.

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