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Agriculture and environment

People have worked the soil in Estonia for centuries, and this has affected our nature and land. Land is cultivated on about one fifth of Estonia's territory. Agriculture has enabled us to shape and maintain semi-natural habitats. Their diversity and survival depend on how well we are able to preserve them. However, agriculture can also adversely affect nature, by polluting soil, water or air, fragmenting habitats and destroying wildlife, both in inland water bodies and on land.

Statistics Estonia publishes information on 28 agri-environmental indicators set by the European Commission. These allow policy makers, researchers and the general public to analyse and assess the interactions between agriculture and the environment as well as development trends. 

The purpose of collecting agri-environmental indicators is to

  • describe the status of agriculture and the environment;
  • explain and monitor the links between agricultural practices and their impact on the environment;
  • provide background information on the diversity of agro-ecosystems;
  • assess to which extent the development of agriculture and rural life promote environmentally friendly farming and sustainable agriculture;
  • provide an overall assessment of the sustainability of agriculture.
Sales of pesticides 784,059 active substance kg
4.2%
2020
Pesticide use per hectare of cultivated land 1.1 kg
6.3%
2015
Basic area treated 1,232,255.3 ha
0.0%
2013
Amount of used glyphosate active substance in the processing of cereals 85,243.2 kg
-13.7%
2020
Carbon dioxide emissions from agriculture 215.1 thousand tonnes
15.9%
2018
Methane emissions from agriculture 27,014.7 tonnes
0.2%
2018
Nitrogen balance in agricultural land 28.0 kg/ha
-13.6%
2012
Phosphorus balance in agricultural land -6.2 kg/ha
36.6%
2012
Organic agricultural area 22.0 %
-1.5%
2020
Sales of pesticides | 2012 - 2020
Use of pesticides in agricultural holdings, quantity per hectare of agricultural land | 2012 - 2020
Use of pesticides in agricultural holdings | 2003 - 2020
Sales of pesticides by active substance | 2012 – 2020
Unit: active substance kg
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Fungicides and bactericides 58,532 64,133 85,914 109,267 104,034 117,032 106,542 104,924 144,025
Herbicides 436,888 434,251 425,845 472,279 604,150 462,644 428,200 531,268 510,774
Insecticides and acaricides 22,108 21,575 27,598 27,634 .. 26,105 28,753 32,567 16,377
Plant growth regulators 34,024 47,410 56,636 .. .. 94,301 72,583 76,397 105,442
Molluscicides .. .. .. .. 1,248 .. .. .. ..
Other plant protection products .. .. .. .. 3,815 .. .. .. ..

Nitrogen and phosphorus balance in agricultural land | 2004 – 2012
Unit: Balance per hectare of total agricultural land, kg
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Nitrogen 36 21 32 22 36 25 31 32 28
Phosphorus -5 -7 -2 -7 -5 -6 -6 -5 -6

News

Milk production increased year-on-year

According to the preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, the production of milk amounted to 807,500 tonnes in 2018, which is 2% more than the year before. The number of dairy cows decreased by the end of the year, but the average milk yield per cow increased.
Read more 25. January 2019