The amazing name "dairy farm of Europe" was Denmark. And it is no coincidence: the dairy farming industry in this relatively small state significantly prevails over the meat industry. In terms of production, it is one of the leading world leaders. The country acquired the "dairy" specialization in the XIX century. Keeping the best traditions, Danish farmers apply the newest technologies. For this experience many of our compatriots come to them.
Agriculture as a leading industry
The small European country of Denmark has one of the most advanced and progressive agricultural industries in the world. It is key and, due to the export of products, gives a significant cash flow to the country's trade balance.
Danish farmers can provide products for more than 15 million people. Given the fact that about 5.7 million people live here, agricultural exports amount to of the total.
Nearly 60% of the territory (2.7 million hectares) is reserved for farmland. The third part of agricultural products refers to the production of plant crops, the rest is produced in the livestock industry.
Dairy cattle: statistics
Denmark is rightly called the “dairy farm of Europe”. Proof of this are the following statistics:
- the total number of cattle (cattle) is more than 1.6 million heads, of which 580 thousand are dairy cows;
- approximately 3,700 dairy farms operate in the industry;
- each cow annually produces over 9 tons of milk;
- the dairy herd of each farm on average consists of 156 heads;
- on 1 square. m in the Danish kingdom accounts for 12.7 cows;
- the largest dairy herd has 1600 cows;
- agriculture produces more than 5.5 million tons of milk per year;
- about 63% of the total milk produced in the country is exported.
Secrets of Danish Farmers
Little Denmark is striking in its scale in the field of milk production, so it’s impossible to doubt what country is called the “dairy farm” of Europe. To reveal the professional secrets of Danish farmers - the desire of many domestic specialists. In no other state, like in Denmark, do they take dairy business and milk processing so seriously.
The high level of productivity and efficiency in the dairy industry is the result of applying a scientifically based approach to keeping cows. Almost all areas of milk processing are mechanized and automated.
In small Denmark, large laboratories and centers for the study of cattle and milk have been established.
Danish Research Center
Research in the production and processing of milk in the Danish state has a special role. On the Jutland Peninsula is a research center, opened in 2000. It is financed by the farmers themselves in order to develop technological innovations.
The center has its own farm. Jersey and Holstein cows are kept loose. All processes on the farm are fully robotized and controlled by a computer. The machine controls the state of health of the livestock, analyzes information on feeding, activity, weight of cattle. Milk analysis is performed during each milking.
State control over the quality of milk
In the Danish kingdom carefully monitor the quality of milk. For this special national program provides the strictest assessment parameters.
First, the milk must be completely natural and pasteurized.
Secondly, before each milking it is given to the test.
Thirdly, the place of keeping of cattle must be perfectly clean.
Denmark has the strictest rules for keeping animals on farms by European standards.
They relate to the area for each adult cow, calf, width of aisles, the presence of special zones for dairy calves, calving, sick cows. The rules dictate, in order to preserve the health of the hooves, the use of special coatings or means for draining and processing the litter.
Dairy cattle breeding
It is not surprising that the “dairy farm of Europe” acts as the most reliable supplier of breeding stock and genetic material. Farmers traditionally breed Danish Holstein, Red Danish and Jersey dairy breeds of cows.
Breeding is focused on increasing productivity, the amount of nutrients in milk. Special attention is also paid to health, longevity, lack of genetic defects, adaptability to modern methods of milking.
Thanks to accurate zootechnical accounting in Denmark, a unique dairy cattle base has been created. It contains data on DNA typing, milk production, fertility, insemination, veterinary diagnostics, culling and slaughter of livestock.
Features feeding cattle
Denmark as a “dairy farm in Europe” promotes attention to cows, including nutrition. Its climate is ideal: it provides favorable conditions for the growth of forage crops. In the summer, cattle feed on artificial pastures.
Feeding animals on dairy farms is diverse. Food is usually used combined. It contains corn silage, white clover grass silage, straw (alfalfa). As sources of starch, barley or wheat is added. Service departments deliver all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Danish farmers do not feed cows equally, but depending on individual indicators - live weight and productivity.
Organic farming in Denmark
The environmental and ethical component in the work of Danish farmers have always been in the first place. The presence of environmental thinking among the Danes is a kind of distinctive national attribute.
Recently, some farm owners are switching to organic farming. It prohibits the use of pesticides and fertilizers when growing feed crops. Also it is not allowed to add synthetic additives, antibiotics to the diet of cows. Strict rules apply to the disposal of manure and the choice of equipment for farms.
Milk produced in accordance with these requirements is marketed under the brand name "organic". The cost of such milk is higher, but it is still in great demand. Denmark has achieved leadership in sales of eco-products.
Creation of cooperatives in dairy farming
The first association of Danish farmers occurred in 1882. Together, they were able to acquire more modern equipment and hire workers. This has the best effect on the quality of dairy products and the profitability of production. As early as 1900, there were more than a thousand such cooperatives.
And today, the main suppliers of milk in Denmark are cooperative companies. Their market share is about 97%. The dairy industry unites the largest international company Arla Foods and more than 30 small enterprises. "Dairy farm of Europe" - is 60 factories throughout the country.
In the last decade, this industry in the country has undergone restructuring - the consolidation of farms.
Dairy products in the diet of the Danes
Denmark provides high-quality dairy products not only to its European neighbors, but, above all, to its residents. Danish doctors strongly recommend drinking 0.5 liters of milk per day. Dairy products are a storehouse of vitamins B12 and B1, calcium, iodine and phosphorus.
On average, each resident consumes milk in the amount of 90 liters per year, cream - 7 kg, yogurt - 13 kg, cheese - 16 kg per year. Danish cuisine has many recipes for dairy dishes. There are more than 500 cheese recipes and 300 dairy drinks recipes.
Denmark is a country in which a tax on fat is taken. Its share in the value of the product, for example, cow butter is 40%.
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