Sunday, February 23, 2014

Agriculture in Denmark

Denmark is home to various types of agricultural production. Within animal husbandry, it includes dairy and beef cattle, pigs, poultry and fur animals – primarily mink, all sectors with a major export. Regarding vegetable production, Denmark is a leading producer of grass-, clover- and horticultural seeds.
The Danish agricultural industry is characterized by freehold and family ownership but due to structural development farms have become fewer and larger.  With modern trade patterns the profitability increasingly depends on global market trends. The arable land in Denmark is approximately 2,646,000 hectares, and the number of farms approximately 40,000, out of which approximately one third is owned by fulltime farmers.
The agriculture is intensive with 64 per cent of the area being used for production. This equals production of food for 15 million people. The value of Danish agricultural export, including the agribusiness sector, has risen steadily in recent years and accounted for 16 billion Euros in 2011. The agriculture and food sector as a whole represents 20 per cent of total Danish commodity exports.
Animal production
The tendency towards fewer and larger farms has been accompanied by an increased animal production using fewer resources pr. produced unit.
The number of dairy farmers is reduced to about 3,800 with an average herd size of 150 cows. The milk quota is 1,142 tonnes. Danish dairy farmers are among the largest and most modern in Europe. More than half of the cows live in new loose-housing systems. Export of dairy products accounts for more than 20 per cent of the total Danish agricultural export. The total number of cattle in 2011 was approximately 1.5 million. Of these 565,000 were dairy cows and 99,000 were suckler cows. The yearly number of slaughtering of beef cattle is around 550,000.
For more than 100 years the production of pigs and pig meat has been a major source of income in Denmark. The Danish pig industry is among the world’s leaders in areas such as breeding, quality, food safety, animal welfare and traceability creating the basis for Denmark being among the world’s largest pig meat exporters. Approximately 90 per cent of the production is exported. This accounts for almost half of all agricultural exports and for more than 5 per cent of Denmark’s total exports. About 4,200 farmers produce 28 million pigs annually. Of these 20.9 million are slaughtered in Denmark.
Fur animal production started in the 1930’s in Denmark. Denmark is the world’s second largest producer of mink skin. In 2012, 1525 farmers produced 15.6 million mink skin of the highest quality. Approximately 98 per cent of the skins sold at Kopenhagen Fur Auction are exported. Fur ranges as Danish agriculture’s third largest export article.  Large attention is given to the welfare of the mink, and regular “Open Farm” arrangements are made for the general public.
Two hundred professional producers are responsible for the Danish egg production, which was 66 million kg in 2011. Chickens for slaughter are often produced in units with 40,000 broilers. In 2012, 100 million chickens were slaughtered.  In the minor productions of poultry, 13 million ducks, 1.4 million geese and 5.0 million turkeys were slaughtered in 2012.
Organic agriculture
In 2011, Denmark had 2,650 authorised organic farms and almost 7 per cent of the total agricultural area is cultivated organically. Organic raw milk represents around 10 per cent of the total milk production. The Danish state authorized organic logo was launched in 1987.

EAAP 2014 is organised in co-operation between Aarhus University, University of Copenhagen and the Danish Knowledge Centre for Agriculture. University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University are the largest and second largest university in Denmark, respectively.
Aarhus University is organised in four faculties. In 2007, the previous Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences was merged with Aarhus University and became a part of the Faculty of Science and Technology.
At Aarhus University research andeducation in agriculture takes place primarily at three research centres – Foulum in Jutland, in Flakkebjerg on Zealand, and in Aarslev on Funen. Research Centre Foulum is home to most of the university’s research in animal science. The Centre houses the Department of Animal Science, Department of Agroecology, and research groups from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Department of Food Science, and Department of Engineering. At AU Foulum there are approximately 700 employees. About 400 of these are academic staff. For further information on the departments please consult the webpages:
Department of Animal Science: 
Department of Agroecology: 
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics: 
Department of Food Science: 
Department of Engineering:
The University of Copenhagen is organised in six faculties. The previous Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University was merged with the University of Copenhagen in 2007 as the Faculty of Life Sciences. In 2012 this faculty was split. The area of veterinary medicine and animal science was merged into the Faculty of Health Sciences, while disciplines within food and natural sciences were included in a new Faculty of Sciences. At the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences research and education in animal husbandry is performed at Department of Large Animal Sciences, Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Science and Department of Veterinary Disease Biology. At the Faculty of Sciences it is performed at the Department of Food Sciences, Department of Food and Resource Economics and Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. Further information about the departments can be found on the webpages:
Department of Large Animal Sciences: 
Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Science (under construction)
Department of Veterinary Disease Biology:
Department of Food Sciences:
Department of Food and Ressource Economics:
.Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
The research in animal husbandry at Aarhus and Copenhagen universities aims at contributing to a responsible, sustainable and resource efficient livestock production which considers production economy and meets societal and consumer demands with regard to animal welfare, health, environmental impact and product quality. To do this, scientists focus on a broad range of topics within animal science.