Trend of cow herd size in Baltic states
¹Estonian University of Life Sciences, Institute of Technology, Fr.R. Kreutzwaldi 56, EE 51014 Tartu, Estonia
²Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Faculty of Engineering, J. Cakstes bulv. 5, LV-3001 Jelgava, Latvia
³Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy, Institute of Energy and Biotechnology Engineering, Studentų Str. 15, LT 53362 Academy, Kaunas district, Lithuania
⁴Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Nowoursynowska Str. 164, PL 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
The article analyses trend of cow herd size from 2000 to 2019 in four Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. It has been stated that during this period of time the average size of cow herds has increased 3–4 times, except in Estonia, where it has increased 8 times. Nevertheless, the number of cows in the herds is different in individual countries. In the herds with up to 5 cows in Estonia there are about 2% of cows, but in the other Baltic states it is 10–18% of the total number of cows. In turn, in the herds with 50 or more cows, what corresponds to implementation of modern milk production technologies and machinery, in Latvia and Lithuania there are about 50% of cows, in Poland 30%, but in Estonia 90% of the total number of cows in the country. It has influenced the specific labour intensity of the people working in milk production. In Estonia, this indicator in 2019 was about 100 man-h per cow per year, but in the other Baltic states it was 300–350 man-h calculating per cow per year. Still, with robotization and automation of all basic work operations the specific labour intensity in milk production can be decreased to 30–50 man-h calculating per cow per year. Therefore, there are still great development possibilities in all Baltic countries.