Principal income from animal husbandry generated by dairy farms
The share of primary sector sales revenue, which is 5% above the national average, comes primarily from crop farming and animal husbandry revenues. Stock farmers have been successful, particularly in 2014, when private limited companies such as OÜ Nigula Piim, OÜ Kirbla, OÜ Kärneri-Jõe, Palivere PMÜ, OÜ Parmel Farm and Piirsalu Põllumajanduse OÜ, all of which are involved in dairy farming, earned income of nearly EUR 7 million. In addition to dairy farming, beef animal breeding is also gaining popularity in Lääne County. Pig farming, poultry farming and sheep farming are engaged in at smaller volumes.
The largest company providing animal husbandry related ancillary activities is Esträv Grupp OÜ, which deals with pelt processing in Finnish fox farms, with a sales revenue of nearly EUR 960,000 in 2014.
Consequences of Russian sanctions on dairy farms
August 2014 saw the beginning of the decline in milk prices due to sanctions imposed on Russia, as a result of which the price has fallen below the cost price. The result has been the liquidation of dairy herds in Estonia. 2015. In September 2015, Parmel Farm announced the liquidation of 280 cows, and in May 2016, Piirsalu Põllumajandus OÜ announced the sale of its company to Estonia’s largest vegetable grower and processor, Laheotsa OÜ, located in Padise Rural Municipality, Harju County.
Growing of cereal is the most profitable in crop farming
In 2014, the sales revenue for Lääne County’s cereal growers totalled EUR 4.5 million. The largest cereal growers were Reinu-Einari OÜ, Ohtla Põld OÜ, Viljatare OÜ, Arne Tamm OÜ, Kirimäe PMÜ, Österby OÜ, Lindest OÜ and Maaharijad OÜ. Floriculture – the growing of vegetables and fodder plants, fruits and berries – is dealt with in addition to cereal growing, Many of the largest primary sector companies grow fodder, engage in animal husbandry and perform other works characteristic of mixed agriculture. For example, the annual sales revenue of OÜ Fazenda, the largest company involved in mixed agriculture, was EUR 500,000. According to 2015 data from Statistics Estonia, there was a total of 58,733 hectares of agricultural land in Lääne County, of which 10,996 hectares, or 18%, was not in use.
Hunting – the most common game are cloven hoofed animals and Anseriformes
OÜ Metlin earned significant sales revenue from hunting in 2014. There are no self-employed persons involved in hunting in Lääne County, although there are a total of 11 hunting associations and societies.
The most common game in Lääne County are cloven hoofed animals, primarily wild swine, elk, and roe deer, with the most popular fowl being Anseriformes and ducks. If cloven hoofed animals are the most common game in all regions of Estonia, then when it pertains to the hunting of Anseriformes (greylag goose and barnacle goose), Lääne County ranks first in Estonia. The most hunted small predators are raccoon dogs, foxes, pine martens and beavers.
Large game, such as lynx, bear and wolf, are somewhat rare in Lääne County, with hunting permits rarely issued for them. In comparison with other regions of Estonia, the most jackals are found in Lääne County, which have also been designated as game since 2016.
Fish stocks are limited
Fish resources are limited in the Baltic Sea and Estonia’s interior bodies of water, as a result of which fishing quotas are assigned each year. Commercial fishing gear can only be used to catch fish if one has a fisherman’s fishing permit or a fishing permit of a fishing vessel. The Ministry of Rural Affairs issues commercial fishing permits to companies registered in the commercial register. 2014. In 2014, there were nine coastal fishing companies involved in sea fishing operating within Lääne County’s fishing grounds. 2013. According to data from 2013, there were 158 holders of fisherman’s fishing permits involved in coastal fishing (within 12 nautical miles of the coast and a maximum depth of 20 metres, to the fathom line) of which 118 were self-employed persons and 36 were commercial incorporated entities.
Lääne County – the sole extractor of curative mud in Estonia
Mineral resources extracted in Lääne County for use in construction are gravel and sand. Also important is peat, with the largest extractor being Torf AS – part of the Nevema BV Group, from Holland – with annual peat extraction of 150 000 m3. The sole extractor of curative sea mud in Estonia is OÜ Ravimuda. OÜ Ungru Paekivi mines building limestone and Nordkalk AS technological dolomite rock.
The majority of self-employed persons are active in the primary sector
More than half of the self-employed persons operating in Lääne County are active in the primary sector, earning 69% of all revenue by self-employed persons in the region. In turn, nearly 40% of the revenue of self-employed persons in the primary sector originates from European Union support. The majority of self-employed persons are active in mixed agriculture – involved in agriculture as well as animal husbandry. 2014. In 2014, self-employed persons in the primary sector in Lääne County earned a total of EUR 9.1 million.
Fishery – Morobell OÜ, Fortem Holding OÜ, Bentros OÜ
Dairy farming – Nigula Piim OÜ, Kirbla OÜ, Kärneri-Jõe OÜ,
Cereal farming – Reinu-Einari OÜ, Ohtla Põld OÜ, Parmel Farm OÜ
Peet production – Skywind OÜ, Torf AS
Fur processing – Esträv Grupp OÜ