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International Society for Horticultural Science

Horticulture Research International

Estonia

Climate
The prevailing wind is from the south west and brings mild wet air from the Atlantic Ocean. The yearly average temperature is 3-7 §C and the yearly average precipitation ranges from 500 to 700 mm. The yearly average number of days when it rains or snows is 150 - 200. Estonia is located in the extreme northwestern part of the great Eurasian land mass in the neighbourhood of the North Atlantic. However, once in a ten years period the very cold air masses press from the east and that comes to effect mainly into the eastern part of Estonia. There the lowest temperatures were recorded: -43 to -44 §C (on the snow cover -50 §C). Annual solar radiation in Estonia amounts to 3518 MJ m-2.

Geography
Estonia is rather flat. The average elevation is 50 metres, the highest point in the south east is 318 m above sea level. In southern Estonia the relief is considerably more varied in height differences. Soddy clay soils predominate (32%) and soddy calcareous soils account for one quarter of the arable land. The most fertile soils occur in the central and southern part of the country.

Horticulture
The following aspects of horticulture can be found in Estonia: arboriculture, fruit growing, vegetable production in the open and under glass, and flower culture.

Distribution of Horticulture
Cultures under glass (vegetables, flowers) are concentrated in the northern part of Estonia near the biggest towns, and in the vicinity of town Tartu, in the eastern part of Estonia. Strawberry and currant growing is dispersed, mostly in southern Estonia. In general, fruit growing is practiced by small producers. Top fruit, mainly apple and plum, is grown on fertile soils in the south. Arboriculture and vegetable growing is practised in all regions.
Commercial enterprises are in rearranging stage in the new situations after the Soviet regime.

Research Thrusts
Research thrusts in Estonia are the Ministry of Agriculture and the Estonian Agricultural University. However, some growers organisations and private enterprises are actively interested in scientific programs on horticultural research.

Organisations / Institutes:
Polli Horticultural Institute
Estonian Ministry of Agriculture
Estonian Agricultural University


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