An agro-economic analysis of grain production in Estonia after its transition to market economy
¹Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 64, 51014 Tartu, Estonia; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
²Rural Economy Research Centre, Jäneda, Lääne-Virumaa, 73602, Estonia
For analysing agronomic efficiency and economic criteria, the results of variety comparison tests of cereals, performed in Estonia during twenty years, national statistics and the data of the survey of the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) for 2000–2003 were summarised. Farms whose grain production contributed more than 75% to total output were selected for analysis. At present only ~40–50% of the real yield potential of cereals is realised. In case of oilseed rape the utilisation of the yield potential is 60–65%. Among the cereals, the largest share is accounted for by barley with 25–43% and wheat with 15–29%. During four years (2000–2003), total inputs increased 21%. Total inputs were the highest in large farms. As an average for 2000–2003 FADN grain producers were profitable in all size groups but consideration of total labour costs indicates that small grain farms were unprofitable. Average farm family income was 1,376 EEK ha-1. There is a non-linear relationship between farm size and economic indicators. Farm family income increases up to ~400 ha. The increase is most significant in the size range 40–200 ha where the increase in farm size by one hectare increases profit by 7.6 EEK ha-1. Further increase will decelerate profit and the most efficient use of labour occurs in this size range as well. Cost benefit is the highest for farm size ranging from ~150 to 400 ha. Profit decreases with the increase in one annual work unit by 508 EEK ha-1 and production becomes unprofitable in case a grain farm employs more than 2.6 workers per 100 ha.