Farming In Denmark
Denmark is located in the Central Northern part of Europe. It is part of the Scandinavian countries, thus it has a relatively cold weather all year long.
75% of Denmark’s land is used for farming. Because of it’s export of agricultural and industrial produce, it enjoys one of the highest standard of living in the world.
This case study is meant to study the farming in Denmark.
Types of Farming:
Denmark is divided into 3 areas: Jutland, Fyn, and Zealand. Farming is found in all of those areas.
Denmark’s types of farming are: Dairy farming, Crop farming, Animal farming, and Mixed farming
In Jutland, the least intensive farming is found. There they mainly grow rye, oats, and potatoes. Pasture land is also found there.
In Fyn and Zealand, the most Intensive farming is found. There they grow cereals with root crops, and pigs.
Some areas in Jutland and Fyn are also used for mixed farming.
Is the Land Suitable for Farming?:
Denmark’s land wasn’t very fertile in the Nineteenth century. It had Sandy soils in the West and Clay land in the East. The government invested a lot of money into making those lands fertile.
The low lying and relatively flat land in Denmark added to the existing fertile soils, and partially favorable climate (Winter frosts + Warm and sunny summer with rainfall over the average) makes Denmark ideal for cereal farming. Up till the 1870’s, Denmark was a major exporter of wheat and barley. But eventually, it had to diversify due to hard competition. That was when it realized the high demand for dairy products in foreign countries (mainly Britain), thus it started to export dairy products along with cereals. This meant it had to rely on pasture land for rearing animals
Today, Denmark’s land is typical for the types of farming found there. The land remains ideal for cereal farming. Pasture land is also found for cattle. Pigs and poultry remain inside a barn all year long. The land is also ideal for growing potatoes and other root crops. Stalinization isn’t a problem in Denmark due to a high annual rainfall.
Where in the World can Similar Farming be Found?:
Mixed farming: Mixed farming can be found in North America (i.e. USA), in Asia (i.e. Russia), and in Europe (i.e. France and Spain). Mixed farming can be also be found in the rest of the continents.
Dairy farming: Dairy farming is found world wide. It is found in Israel, Italy, USA, France, Britain, and many more.
Crop farming: Commercial farming can be found plenty in Europe. It exists in countries such as France, Italy, Greece, Germany, Spain, Britain, and more.
Animal farming: Animal farming can also be found world wide. It exists in Italy, France, USA, Israel, Britain, and more.
Inputs, Processes, and Outputs:
Physical: - Land is flat and suitable for farming - Soil is adequate for cereal farming, and is fertilized to improve crops yield. - High annual rainfall allows animal rearing thanks to growth of grass. - Temperature is low in Denmark. Crop farming is limited throughout the year. Fortunately Denmark has a large quantity of livestock which allows farming to continue during the summer.
Human: - Government often doesn’t give loans to Danish farms. Government has strict regulations about farming in Denmark. These regulations are mainly meant to preserve good quality farming (e.g. one of the rules says that any farmer purchasing an area meant for cultivation which is over 30 Hectares needs to have undergone at least 5 years of formal training as farmer). - Fertilizers are commonly used in Denmark to help maintain soil’s fertility, thus increasing output. - Denmark farming became more mechanized during the last 50 years. Tractors and harvesters became more commonly used and increased output. - Quality of animal and crops improved in Denmark thanks to government regulations and years of research. This increased output. - Denmark’s farms are becoming bigger in size, but smaller in workers (due to mechanization). - No tight competition exists on land.
Processes: - Farmer is the decision maker in Danish farms. - If a typical Danish farmer specializes in animal farming, he’ll grow pigs, chickens, and cows (and / or). If he specializes in crop farming, he’ll probably grow wheat, barley and rye, oats, grass (also for hay), and sugar beets (and / or). A farmer may also specialize in mixed farming. - The average size of a Danish farm is 38 Hectares. This is the size of a MEDC’s farm, thus the farm has profitable outputs.
Outputs: - Almost all Danish farms are commercial farms, thus they turn profit. - Eventually, the Danish farmer exports its products to turn profit. He may turn profit from: Milk and other dairy products, Beef, Potatoes, Barley, oats, wheat, grass, and sugar beets. (other outputs can be found but I only listed the main ones).
Changes in the last 50 years:
Denmark has undergone many changes in farming in the last 50 years: - Today there are less farmers than 50 years ago. That’s mainly due to machines replacing people, and the urban push factors which encouraged many people to leave farms, thus increasing rural depopulation. - Decrease in amount of all types of crops and animal farming in Danish farms. Only pig and cereal farming increased. That happened due to decrease in work force which was willing to work twice a day to milk cows. Cereal growth increased due to encouragement by CAP to grow cereals (and especially Barley). - 50 years ago windmills were a common site in Denmark as they were used to grind grain. Today, more conventional machines replaced the windmill. - More and more farmers switch to mixed farming today. That happened because Danish farmers thought they were too specialized, thus were vulnerable to change in market demand, change in whether, pests, diseases, and change in market prices.