Beef farming in Estonia
The area of Estonia is about 45,000 km2 and the population slightly more than 1.3 million.
Traditionally, dairy cattle and pigs were raised in Estonian rural areas, and beef breeding is a comparatively young area of activity. There are many fields in Estonia that are not suitable for cereal growing but that could well be managed as grasslands suitable for raising beef cattle. Beef farming is one of the opportunities to engage in business in rural areas.In the last years, many smaller and medium dairy cattle have been replaced by beef cattle; the support
from the start-up fund for young farmers has helped several farmers to start with beef cattle. In the recent years, the number of beef cattle has increased by 15% a year.
The population of Estonian beef cattle is low, but the animals and the beef are of high quality. Intensive fattening of beef cattle is not a general practice in Estonia; there are many beef cattle that grow in grasslands and there are many organic farmers. At the same time, about half of the beef cattle are under performance testing and linear assessment of beef cattle has recently been implemented.
Beef cattle of different breeds reared in Estonia can be seen in larger yearly agricultural events:
2nd weekend of May
Luige Country Fair
- the last weekend of July – Jäneda Farm Days
- 1st Saturday of September – Tartu Autumn Fair. Agricultural exposition “Purebred Breeding Animal” (“Tõuloom”) in the Estonian Agricultural Museum in Ülenurme.
The files below gives an overview of the situation of beef sector in Estonia.