Facts about Danish agriculture
Denmark is world famous for its agriculture and food sector. Danish farmers produce an amount of food sufficient to supply 15 million people every year – three times the Danish population.
Located in the temperate climate zone, Danish farmers have a good starting point for producing crops and husbandry products. The average temperature varies from 0 centigrade in January-February to 17 centigrades in July. Average rainfall is app. 70 cm per year.
The main crops in Denmark are small grains, mainly wheat and barley, covering more than half of the agricultural area. Fodder crops, mainly grass and maize for silage, amounts to 780,000 hectares, but Denmark is also an important producer of sales crops such as rape seed, sugar beets and grass seeds of various types. Vegetables and potatoes cover 60,000 hectares.
Danish farmers produce 19 million slaughter hogs per year. Milk production is limited by EU regulations and amounts to a little less than 5,2 billion kg from 563.000 dairy cows. Besides large quantities of pork and dairy products, Denmark produces beef, poultry and fur skins for the Danish market and for export.
The total agricultural area is 2.7 mill. hectares which amounts to 61 per cent of Denmark's total surface. This makes farmland really dominating the landscape no matter which part of the country, you choose to visit.
Danish farmers own and control the main processing and marketing industries for food products in our country, as farmer-owned cooperative dairies and slaughterhouses have a market share of more than 90 per cent of the annual production.
The education to become a skilled farmer takes 4.5 years with a mix of study period and practical training on private farms.
Generally, two thirds of the Danish agricultural production is exported to more than 100 countries all over the world. Only half of the export goes to EU-countries. This means that Danish farmers are competing with farmers on the world market.
Since 1972, Denmark has been a member of the European Community, today the European Union. This has had the utmost importance for Danish farmers as well as the Danish Agricultural sector as a whole, because it gives the access to one of the largest markets for food products in the world.