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Dairying or dairy farming is a class of agricultural, or an animal

husbandry, enterprise, for long-term production of milk, usually from dairy
cows but also from goats and sheep, which may be either processed on-site or
transported to a dairy factory for processing and eventual retail sale.
Most dairy farms sell the male calves born by their cows, usually for
veal production, or breeding depending on quality of the bull calf, rather than
raising non-milk-producing stock.[citation needed] Many dairy farms also
grow their own feed, typically including corn, alfalfa, and hay. This is fed
directly to the cows, or is stored as silage for use during the winter season.
Additional dietary supplements are often added to the feed to increase quality
milk production.

Dairy farming has been part of agriculture for thousands of years.
Historically it has been one part of small, diverse farms. In the last century or
so larger farms doing only dairy production have emerged. Large scale dairy
farming is only viable where either a large amount of milk is required for
production of more durable dairy products such as cheese, or there is a
substantial market of people with cash to buy milk, but no cows of their own.

Dairy farming - Use of hormones and antibiotics

In the US in many farms, cows are given growth hormones (known as
"BST" or "rBGH") to increase milk production. In Europe, use of BST is
strictly forbidden.

Dairy farming - Dairy competition

Most milk-consuming countries have a local dairy farming industry, and
most producing countries maintain significant subsidies and trade barriers to
protect domestic producers from foreign competition. In large countries, dairy
farming tends to be geographically clustered in regions with abundant natural
water supplies (milk is mostly water) and relatively inexpensive land (even
under the most generous subsidy regimes, dairy farms have poor return on
capital). These too promote regional competition and laws to protect the
regional production of milk.

Dairy farming - Dairy farming in the world

In the United States, dairy farming is an important industry in Vermont,
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New York but the largest state in
dairy production is California. In Europe, Denmark, northern France, southern
Ireland, United kingdom, Switzerland, and especially the Netherlands, are
particularly known as centers of dairy production. The worlds largest exporter
of dairy products is New Zealand which farms on a larger scale compared to
Europe if not the U.S.A. but is stifled by the trade barriers and tariffs imposed
by these locations.

Dairy farming - Control of the dairy herd

Modern dairy farmers use milking machines and sophisticated plumbing
systems to harvest and store the milk from the cows, which are milked twice or
thrice daily. During the warm months, the cows may be allowed to graze in
their pastures both day and night, and are brought into the barn only to be
milked. During the winter months, especially in northern climates, the cows
may spend the majority of their time inside the barn, which is warmed by their
collective body heat. Even in winter, the heat produced by the cattle requires
the barns to be ventilated for cooling purposes.

Dairy farming - The milking operation

Two skilled dairy farmers, each with four milking machines, can milk
about 100 cows within a couple of hours. Starting at one end of the barn, the
two men will attach their electrically controlled suction-operated machines to
the piping, and after washing the udders of the cows, attach the four-cup
machines to the cows' teats. The machines are held in place automatically by
suction, which, through a heartbeat-like pulsing action, draws the milk out of
the cows, into the pipes, and eventually into a refrigerated bulk tank. The milk
will pass through a strainer before entering the tank. In a modern installation,
plate heat exchangers are often used to pre-cool milk prior to entering the
temperature controlled bulk tank, where it can be stored safely for some hours
at approximately 3°C. At pre-arranged times, a milk truck may arrive and
pump the milk from the tank for transport to a dairy where it will be
homogenized and pasteurized.
The milking of cows was traditionally a labor-intensive operation.
Farms usually had personnel to milk only a few dozen cows, and keeping a
dozen milk cows for the sale of milk was profitable. Now most dairies must
have more than one hundred cows in milk at a time with other cows and heifers
waiting to be "freshened" to join the milking herd.
Dairy farmers, the hired men, and their families sometimes drink the
unrefined milk produced on the farm. However it is often healthier to drink
milk that has been prepared for consumer use. 'Raw' Milk may contain bacteria
and other organisms that eventually cause spoilage. Milk is routinely sampled
on collection, and any which fails tests for bacteria, antibiotic residue etc will
be rejected by dairies for public consumption.

Hand milking
Centralized dairy farming as we understand it primarily developed
around villages and cities, where residents were unable to have cows of their
own due to a lack of grazing land. Near the town, farmers could make some
extra money on the side by having additional animals and selling the milk in
town. The dairy farmers would fill barrels with milk in the morning and bring
it to market on a wagon. Until the late 1800s, the milking of the cow was done
by hand. In the United States, several large dairy operations existed in some
northeastern states and in the west, which involved as many as several hundred
cows, but an individual milker could not be expected to milk more than a
dozen cows a day. Smaller operations predominated.
Milking took place indoors in a barn with the cattle tied by the neck with ropes
or held in place by stanchions. Feeding could occur simultaneously with
milking in the barn, although most dairy cattle were pastured during the day
between milkings. Such examples of this method of dairy farming are difficult
to locate, but some are preserved as a historic site for a glimpse into the days
gone by.

Vacuum bucket milking

The first milking machines were an extension of the traditional milk
pail. The early milker device fit on top of a regular milk pail and sat on the
floor under the cow. Following each cow being milked, the bucket would be
dumped into a holding tank. This developed into the Surge hanging milker.
Prior to milking a cow, a large wide leather strap called a surcingle was put
around the cow, across the cow's lower back. The milker device and collection
tank hung underneath the cow from the strap. This innovation allowed the cow
to move around naturally during the milking process rather than having to
stand perfectly still over a bucket on the floor.
With the availability of electric power and suction milking machines,
the production levels that were possible in stanchion barns increased but the
scale of the operations continued to be limited by the labor intensive nature of
the milking process. Attaching and removing milking machines involved
repeated heavy lifting of the machinery and its contents several times per cow
and the pouring of the milk into milk cans. As a result, it was rare to find
single-farmer operations of more than 50 head of cattle.

Step-Saver milk transport

As herd size began to increase, the bucket milker system became
laborious. A vacuum milk-transport system known as the Step-Saver was
developed to transport milk to the storage tank. The system used a long
vacuum hose coiled around a receiver cart, and connected to a vacuum-breaker
device in the milkhouse, allowing farmers to milk many cows without the
necessity of walking increasingly longer distances carrying heavy buckets of

Milking pipeline
The next innovation in automatic milking was the milk pipeline. This
uses a permanent milk-return pipe and a second vacuum pipe that encircles the
barn or milking parlor above the rows of cows, with quick-seal entry ports
above each cow. By eliminating the need for the milk container, the milking
device shrank in size and weight to the point where it could hang under the
cow, held up only by the sucking force of the milker nipples on the cow's
udder. The milk is pulled up into the milk-return pipe by the vacuum system,
and then flows by gravity to the milkhouse vacuum-breaker that puts the milk
in the storage tank. The pipeline system greatly reduced the physical labor of
milking since the farmer no longer needed to carry around huge heavy buckets
of milk from each cow.
The pipeline allowed barn length to keep increasing and expanding, but
after a point farmers started to milk the cows in large groups, filling the barn
with one-half to one-third of the herd, milking the animals, and then emptying
and refilling the barn. As herd sizes continued to increase, this evolved into the
more efficient milking parlor.

Milking parlours
Innovation in milking focused on mechanising the milking parlour to
maximise throughput of cows per operator which streamlined the milking
process to permit cows to be milked as if on an assembly line, and to reduce
physical stresses on the farmer by putting the cows on a platform slightly
above the person milking the cows to eliminate having to constantly bend over.
Many older and smaller farms still have tie-stall or stanchion barns, but
worldwide a majority of commercial farms have parlours.
The milking parlour allowed a concentration of money into a small area,
so that more technical monitoring and measuring equipment could be devoted
to each milking station in the parlour. Rather than simply milking into a
common pipeline for example, the parlour can be equipped with fixed
measurement systems that monitor milk volume and record milking statistics
for each animal. Tags on the animals allow the parlour system to automatically
identify each animal as it enters the parlour.

Recessed parlours
More modern farms use recessed parlours, where the milker stands in a
recess such that his arms are at the level of the cow's udder. Recessed parlours
can be herringbone, where the cows stand in two angled rows either side of the
recess and the milker accesses the udder from the side, parallel, where the cows
stand side-by-side and the milker accesses the udder from the rear or, more
recently, rotary (or carousel), where the cows are on a raised circular platform,
facing the center of the circle, and the platform rotates while the milker stands
in one place and accesses the udder from the rear. There are many other styles
of milking parlours which are less common.

Herringbone and parallel parlours

In herringbone and parallel parlours, the milker generally milks one row
at a time. The milker will move a row of cows from the holding yard into the
milking parlour, and milk each cow in that row. Once all or most of the
milking machines have been removed from the milked row, the milker releases
the cows to their feed. A new group of cows is then loaded into the now vacant
side and the process repeats until all cows are milked. Depending on the size of
the milking parlour, which normally is the bottleneck, these rows of cows can
range from four to sixty at a time.
Rotary parlours
In rotary parlours, the cows are loaded one at a time onto the platform as
it slowly rotates. The milker stands near the entry to the parlour and puts the
cups on the cows as they move past. By the time the platform has completed
almost a full rotation, another milker or a machine removes the cups and the
cow steps backwards off the platform and then walks to its feed.

Automatic milker take-off

It can be harmful to an animal for it to be over-milked past the point
where the udder has stopped releasing milk. Consequently the milking process
involves not just applying the milker, but also monitoring the process to
determine when the animal has been milked out and the milker should be
removed. While parlour operations allowed a farmer to milk many more
animals much more quickly, it also increased the number of animals to be
monitored simultaneously by the farmer. The automatic take-off system was
developed to remove the milker from the cow when the milk flow reaches a
preset level, relieving the farmer of the duties of carefully watching over 20 or
more animals being milked at the same time.

Fully automated robotic milking

In the 1980s and 1990s, robotic milking systems were developed and
introduced (principally in the EU Thousands of these systems are now in
routine operation. In these systems the cow has a high degree of autonomy to
choose her time of milking within pre-defined windows. These systems are
generally limited to intensively managed systems although research continues
to match them to the requirements of grazing cattle and to develop sensors to
detect animal health and fertility automatically.
Capital Copenhagen
(and largest city) 55°43′N 12°34′E / 55.717°N
Official languages Danish
90.5% Danish, 9.5% (Germans,
Ethnic groups Greeks, Bosnians, Russians,
Turks, Arabs)[1]
Demonym Danish or Dane/Danes
Government Parliamentary democracy and
Constitutional monarchy
Consolidation 8th century
EU accession 1 January 1973 (7th)
43,098.31 km2 (134th²)
Total Area
16,640 sq mi
Water (%) 1.6²

Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe and the senior

member of the Kingdom of Denmark. It is the southernmost of the Nordic
countries; southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and it is bordered to the
south by Germany. Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The
country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland (Jylland) and many islands, most
notably Zealand (Sjælland), Funen (Fyn), Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, Falster
and Bornholm, as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the
Danish Archipelago. Denmark has long controlled the approach to the Baltic
Sea, as over water this can only take place via one of the three channels, that
are also known as the "Danish straits".
Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of
government. Denmark has a state-level government and local governments in
98 municipalities. Denmark has been a member of the European Union since
1973, although it has not joined the Eurozone. Denmark is a founding member
of NATO and the OECD.
Denmark, with a free market capitalist economy and a large welfare
state,[4] ranks according to one measure, as having the world's highest level of
income equality. Denmark has the best business climate in the world,
according to the US business magazine Forbes.[5] From 2006 to 2008, surveys[6]
ranked Denmark as "the happiest place in the world," based on standards of
health, welfare, and education. The 2009 Global Peace Index survey ranks
Denmark as the second most peaceful country in the world, after New Zealand.
Denmark was also ranked as the least corrupt country in the world in the
2008 Corruption Perceptions Index,[8] sharing a top position with Sweden and
New Zealand.
The national language, Danish, is close to Swedish and Norwegian, with
which they share strong cultural and historical ties. 82.0% of the inhabitants of
Denmark and 90.3% of the ethnic Danes are members of the Lutheran state
church. About 9% of the population has foreign citizenship—a large portion of
those are from other Scandinavian countries.

Area Density
Country Population (km²) (pop per km²)
Denmark 5,519,441 43,094 128


Although the period from 1850 to 1880 shows a marked improvement in
the cattle industry in Denmark, this was due to better methods of feeding rather
than to a systematic application of the principles of breeding. There were very
few farmers who understood the importance of the bull in the improvement of
the breed, and the nearest and cheapest bull was, as a rule, considered the best.
In some sections the farmers took turns in keeping what was called the "town
bull," each man keeping a bull for the use of his neighbours for a year. These
bulls seldom reached an age of over 2 years, and were thus disposed of before
they were fully developed and before their breeding value had been
determined. More care was taken in the selection of the heifer calves for
breeding purposes; they as a rule were selected from what were supposed to be
the best cows; but in regard to milk production this was simply a chance
selection, for very few people kept records.

The Native Breeds of Cattle In Denmark

The Jutland breed has already been referred to as being native to the
mainland of Denmark. The other native breed, the Red Danish, is indigenous to
the islands. The cattle in Jutland were in earlier days known for their beef
qualities, especially the excellent quality of meat they produced, while the
cattle on the islands had superior milking qualities.
The characteristic colour of the Jutland breed is black and white, a few,
however, being grey and white. Although the colour and to some extent the
general appearance would indicate the breed to contain some Holstein-Friesian
blood, no historical references could be found by the writer to that effect. The
origin of the breed seems unknown, and, as one writer states, it is “native to the
soil." In the period from 18-20 to 1850 efforts were made to improve the
Jutland cattle by an infusion of new blood, and animals were imported from
Tyrol, Switzerland, England, and IIolstein (those from the latter place were not
the Holstein-Friesian breed, but a red breed of cattle). However, this crossing
did not result in an improvement of the Jutland cattle and was therefore
The Red Danish cattle are found in southern Jutland and on the islands
of Funen, Zealand, and some of the smaller islands. The native stock which
forms the basis for the Red Danish breed is different from the native stock
from which the Jutland breed originated. As the name indicates, the colour of
the cattle is red. At the time when efforts were made to cross the native cattle
of Jutland with the cattle from Tyrol and Switzerland similar attempts were
made to use these breeds to improve the native stock.

Danish Shorthorn
Local names: Dansk Korthorn (dan.)
Synonymes: Dairy Shorthorn (eng.)
Population trend: decreasing
Range of use: milk, meat

Towards the end of the 19th century the Shorthorn breed began to gain a
foothold in Jutland, and in 1922 every third cow in this area was of this breed.
At the start, animals were mainly imported from the Ejderstedt region, but later
Dairy Shorthorn bulls were introduced in large numbers from England - breed's
country of origin. The breed has had its own breeding society in Denmark
since 1906, but breeding stock has continued to be imported. Up until 1950
imports were limited to Dairy Shorthorn bulls from England.

During the 1950s crosses were made with bulls of the Dutch Red Cattle
breed, and in 1962 the breeding society changed its name to “The Breeding
Society for Danish Red and White Cattle” (DRK). In subsequent years almost
all of the Danish population of Dairy Shorthorns was crossed with red and
white cattle from Germany and Holland. Individual females of the old type of
Dairy Shorthorn are still found, but as a rule there is no documentation of their
extraction. The Genetic Resources Committee has a small store of semen from
bulls of the old type of Dairy Shorthorn. Cattle that are currently registered as
Danish Shorthorn are a result of displacement crosses with bulls of mainly
North American Beef Shorthorns, and have no special cultural/historic interest
in Denmark.

Danish Jersey
Local names: Dansk Jersey
Population trend: decreasing
Range of use: milk, meat

The Danish Jersey breed is found in Denmark, especially in West

Fünen. It is a variety of Jersey developed from imports from Sweden during
the late 1800's and from Jersey during the early 1900's. The breed society was
formed in 1902 and the herd-book established in 1925.
Danish Red Cattle

Local names: Rødt Dansk Malkekvog, Fünen

Synonymes: Red Danish (eng.)
Population trend: stable
Range of use: milk, meat
At the beginning of the 19th century, a clear distinction was made in
Denmark between two types of cattle, the Jutland Cattle and the Island Cattle.
In 1800 the Island Cattle were crossed with imported red cattle from Angel,
North Slesvig, and Ballum. The Angel cattle were used mainly on Zealand and
Lolland-Falster, animals from Ballum and North Slesvig greatly influenced the
cattle of Fynen. The Ballum cattle were larger than the Angel animals, so it
was the cattle of Fynen that came to set the standards for the Danish Red Cattle
The name of this breed - Danish Red Cattle (RDM)-first appeared at a
farmers meeting in Svendborg in 1878. Consequently, this date is usually taken
to be the year when the breed was founded. Using pure breeding methods, the
animals were developed to a homogenous red dairy breed that was superior to
all other Danish dairy breeds with regard to milk production. The breed was
internationally recognised during the first half of the present century, and
breeding stock were exported to many different countries. This development
greatly influenced herds in the Baltic countries. In the early 1960s this breed
accounted 61% for of Danish cattle stock, by the early 1980s this number had
declined to a little over 20%. This was largely due to the introduction of higher
producing Dutch Friesian cattle.
The golden age of the breed was the 1950s, at which time RDM cattle
constituted about 70% of the Danish cattle population.
Since then the breed has suffered a big decline in absolute number and in its
proportion in the national herd. In 1970 its breed society abandoned the pure-
breeding principle, and since then RDM cattle have been crossed, firstly with
American Brown Swiss Cattle (ABK) and later with other European brown and
red cattle. The name "RDM" has been maintained, but the proportion of RDM
genes in the population is now only about 50%.
The new RDM cows are higher yielding, have a better udder, and are
considerably bigger than the RDM anno 1970 individuals; colour varies from
dark brown or red to yellow. The average weight of cows is 660 kg and they
are typical dairy conformation. In 1977, cows yielded an average of 5.240 kg
of milk containing 4.17% of fat. The bulls, which are typically darker red, have
an average weight of 1000 kg. fat during lactation.

Danish Black and White Cattle (SDM, anno 1965)

Local names: Sortbroget Dansk Malkekvaeg
Synonymes: Danish Black-Pied (eng.)
Population trend: increasing
Range of use: milk, meat

The SDM cattle breed is a result of inter-breeding Dutch Black and

White cattle with the Jutland Cattle. This breed is a combined breed, which
have together a high potential for milk production with thriftiness and good
carcass quality. From about the middle of the 1960s the SDM breed society
extensively used semen from American and Canadian Holstein-Friesian bulls.
So that about 75% of the genes, which now dominate in Danish dairy herds of
the black and white cows, are from Holstein-Friesian cattle originated. The
Holstein-Friesian breed was developed from Dutch Black and White stock, but
in North America it was further modified to produce a specialized dairy breed.
Although this, breed now produces large, highly yielding cows with well
developed udders and carcass quality.

Jutland Cattle
Local names: Jysk kvæg
Population trend: increasing
Range of use: meat, socio-cultural
The Jutland Cattle are descendants of the original black or grey pied animals
which were widespread in Jutland in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, where
they formed the backbone for the export of steers to the markets of northern
Germany. The first herdbook for “Horses and Cattle of Jutland Breeds” was
published in 1881, and contains information about 48 bulls and 53 cows. The
starting material was very heterogeneous. Thus, 27 of the bulls were described
as being of dairy-type, 10 were of beef-type, and one was given as “not clearly
of dairy or meat type”. The dairy-type animal was generally smaller than its
beef-type counterpart, the average withers height for eight dairy-type cows
being 120 cm. The weight of grown cows was given as about 350 kg, while
their annual milk yield typically amounted to 800-1.000 litres. Beef-type
animals were generally taller and heavier. The tallest cow in the first herdbook
was 146 cm high. In general Jutland Cattle are relatively small, the weight of
adult cows being about 500 kg. Their none-white pied markings vary in colour
from light grey, through dark grey to entirely black.


Process description
The present data refer to production on eight typical Danish Dairy farms
in 1999, which combines dairy and (cash) crop production in a mixed farming
system. Nitrogen balances for different dairy farms can be seen here. The main
characteristics of the eight farms are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1: Main characteristics of the considered dairy farms.

Soil type Loamy (clay) Sandy
Stocking <1,4 1,4-2,3 >2,3 Organic <1,4 1,4-2,3 >2,3 Organic
rate farms farms
55 55 82 62 48 67 76 84
99 50 44 88 81 65 48 99
area (ha)
yield per
7227 7288 7053 6811 7431 7429 7125 6866
cow per
Part of
feed 81% 58% 31% 70% 80% 61% 40% 68%
on farm
6,7 6,8 7,8 5,9 6,5 5,5 7,9 5,0
yield, ton
per ha
4,8 5,0 5,9 3,7 4,7 4,6 3,8 3,9
yield, ton
per ha

A large part of the feed for the cattle is produced on the farm as a combination
of silage and grain in a crop rotation with grass clover swards. Moreover, some of the
farms with lower stocking rate produce grains, rapeseed or grain legumes as cash
crops. Most cows are Holstein-Friesian of high genetic potential using artificial
insemination (AI). Average yearly milk yields are around 7000 kg per cow in the
farms. Most cows graze in 180 days per year and thus needs conserved fodder for at
least 185 days. Almost all the heifers are raised on the farm and grazed up to 200 days
per year often on marginal land/permanent pasture. Bulls for fattening exist only on
part of these farms mainly because of limitations on stocking rate. Most farms have
stables with slatted floors (manure handled as slurry) and central milking parlors
(rooms). All used water and effluents are collected in concrete slurry containers with
a minimum capacity of 6 months (application to fields is only allowed from March to
September). Cultivation of crops is often done using farmers own equipment while
harvest of grains and silage is most often done by contractors. Equipment is usually
modern and most processes automatic.
There is most often one owner and a full time hired helper, who both have a
diploma and are trained in farm management. Most farmers use modern feed planning
methods and regular feed analyses to adjust protein levels and minerals and all follow
public regulation concerning manure N utilization and fertilization.

Data collection and treatment

Data collection:
All Danish farms are obliged to keep detailed records of purchases and
sales for tax purposes and the yearly accounts are made with professional help.
A representative set of these accounts, 2232, are reported by the advisors to the
Danish Research Institute of Food Economics (FØI) and constitute the basic
empirical input to the farm types presented here. Besides the economical data,
information on the land use, livestock numbers and amounts produced are
included in the data set by the advisors.
Data from other sources are used to model the technical processes: Data
from the advisory services (feeding and grazing practices), the Directorate for
Food, Fisheries and Agri-business, and Statistic Denmark (countrywide use of
fertilizer and concentrates, partition of land use on different crops and their
total yields). The Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences (DIAS) together
with FØI and Statistic Denmark is responsible for data collection.

Data treatment:
The data processing and details of the different farm types is the
responsibility of DIAS and FØI. The FØI checks the account data and has
divided the accounts according to the farm typology presented. These average
data from each farm type has been used by DIAS to model a typical farm in
terms of land use, herd size and production. All resource use, inputs,
production and emissions is calculated using the farm level as the main unit
and all the single enterprises have been described so that they fit coherently
into the overall farm balances (e.g. crop production must fit the sum of
homegrown feed used and exported). Thus, inputs of fertilizer, feeds and
minerals are calculated to mach the livestock and cash crop production after
correction for home grown feed.
The nutrient turnover on the farm is calculated by multiplying the
physical turnover of inputs and products with N and P contents following
standard procedures. Emissions of ammonia, methane and nitrous oxide (N20)
from the livestock, stables, manure storage and handling and from crop
residues and soil are calculated using standard coefficients (IPCC, 2000) on the
amounts of nutrients and feed dry matter (DM).

Technical scope
The Inventory includes all processes on the farm necessary for the
cultivation and preservation of crops and home-produced fodder (e.g. soil
preparation, sowing, fertilizing/manuring, plant protection, harvesting, making
silage and transport of crops).
Feeding and milking of cattle and calfs, feeding of other livestock and
handling of bi-products such as manure and straw, use of electricity for milk
cooling, ventilation and light is also included. To some of the processes are
attached imports of e.g. feeds and fertilizers.
Resource use and emissions related to the production of fertilizer,
imported feeds, minerals and electricity are handled as external processes
described separately.
Use of medicine is not considered and pesticide use is not included in the first
version. Resource use and emissions related to the construction and
maintenance of buildings and machinery used on the farm is not included.
Most dairy farm types produce small amounts of other items than milk
and meat, e.g. bread wheat. All inputs, resource uses and emissions related to
these secondary enterprises have been included in the inventory. Only technical
allocations have been made between enterprises within the farm and only when
resources used could be clearly divided between the enterprises. To account for
the part of resource use and externalities related to e.g. meat and cash crop
production on the dairy farm the method of system enlargement is
recommended. This method has been used in the Simapro database developed
from this inventory to define the resource use and emissions attached to milk
production per se. Systems enlargement has also been used to account for the
exported manure from farm types with high stocking rate. Thus, the difference
in fertilizer use and emissions on the manure receiving farm type (modeled as
before and after manure import) has been allocated to the manure selling farm

The dataset of 2239 accounts used is statistically representative of the
Danish farming sector (59000 farms in total) following a method developed
over several decades for yearly economical analysis of Danish farms (FØI) and
for reporting to other bodies like the EU Farm Accountancy Data Network. In
order to secure rrepresentatively within the established typology only farm
types that could be described by at least 14 accounts from the sample were
allowed for the basic products. Moreover, a given farm could be included in
only one type depending on the main enterprise. The data represent only one
year (1999), but the large number of farms allows for some generalizations of
the input-output relationships.
The present dairy farm types are based on 8 sub samples. Together they
represent all Danish dairy farms with a maximum of 10% of Gross Margin
from pig production. The total milk production on these types account for 85%
of the total milk produced in Denmark. The farms have been divided into
groups in order to represent dairy production on sandy and loamy soil types
respectively and with different stocking rates (number of standard livestock
units per hectare). Two separate types represent organic dairy farms. Farms
with low or medium stocking rates usually produce 1-3 secondary products,
which may differ from farm to farm. The resulting farm type thus represents an
average of these secondary enterprises, but the number of small enterprises is
not typical for a single farm.

Included dairy farm types:

Soil type Loamy (clay) Sandy
Stocking Organic Organic
<1,4 1,4-2,3 >2,3 <1,4 1,4-2,3 >2,3
rate farms farms
Number of
23 32 14 24 83 182 16 127
Pct of total
milk 4 7 3 1 15 43 4 9

What do the different types represent?

There are important differences between the dairy farm types. The farms
on clay soils tend to feed more imported feeds and crop residues because cash
cop production is relatively more competitive than on sandy soils. The sandy
soil dairy farms usually include two-year grass-clover leys in the rotation. The
farms with high stocking rate sell part of their manure production. Organic
farms produce most feed themselves and use no pesticides, fertilizer or
imported manure. The average size of organic farms is above the average size
of farms in the conventional groups.
The farm type, Sandy with 1,4-2,3 LU per ha is considered the marginal
farm that is, the farm type most likely to expand production in the future.
Soil type Loamy (clay) Sandy
Stocking rate <1,4 1,4-2,3 >2,3 Organic <1,4 1,4- >2,3 Organic
farms 2,3 farms
Bread wheat ton 76,3 17,2 34,0 26,7 36,7 12,1 8,4 8,3
Wheat ton 21,8 0 0 0 7,7 0 0 0
Oat ton 2,4 0 0 0 2,0 0 0 0
Mixed crops ton 0 0 0 0 4,3 0 0 0
Rye ton 18,8 0 0 0 9,3 0 0 0
Rape seed ton 8,1 1,3 0,0 0,0 6,2 1,1 0,0 0,0
Grass seed ton 0,7 0,0 0,0 0,8 0,7 0,0 0,0 0,0
Peas ton 6,8 0,0 0,0 2,2 2,7 0,0 0,0 0,0
Potatoes ton 11,3 0,0 6,3 0 11,8 0,0 0,0 0,0
Sugar beet ton 13,6 7,0 239,0 18,0 17,1 0,0 44,9 0,0
Milk-ECM ton 399,7 397,9 575,5 424,3 355,2 499,3 538,0 583,2
Grower pig (30
kg) ton 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0
Beef meat ton 25,1 15,4 20,3 16,3 19,9 20,6 23,9 17,8
Pork meat ton 0 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0
Manure ton 0,0 0,0 2,6 1,9 0,0 0,0 2,0 1,5

Spring barley ton 0,0 64,9 217,2 98,2 0 91,9 210,5 144,3
Soy meal ton 59,0 70,4 336,2 0 49,2 77,2 125,3 0
Rape seed meal ton 0 0 0 22,0 0 0 0 35,2
Lubricant Oil liter 1463 831 720 1093 1164 1068 955 1249
Manure kg N 602 0 0 1692 625 0 0 2002
Fertilizer ,
nitrate kg N 10689 4486 2096 0 8806 6602 3580 0
Fertilizer P kg P 1016 554 430 0 872 909 758 0
Fertilizer K kg K 2735 872 0 0 2873 2549 534 8725
P, Mineral Feed kg P 0 124 135 105 137 332 189

Denmark kWh 46190 30003 44258 39399 34929 42162 45563 55129
Heating MJ 545 933 57 199 606 690 515 549
37604 33618
Traction MJ 515111 292549 326952 384807 409783 3 1 439502

Emissions to air
Methane kg CH4 10017 9107 12097 10673 9205 12316 13640 14395
Ammonia kg NH3 3277 2704 3796 2438 2919 3426 3733 3324
N2O Kg N2O 942 669 619 579 866 920 817 882

Emissions to
Nitrate kg NO3 29775 19978 18970 2449 30490 31112 28324 14522
Phosphate kg P 66 73 851 6 94 113 139 39

Emissions to
The representativity of the farm accounts has been checked using
standard methodology at FØI. The resource use and production on the farms
have been validated at two levels: Internal coherence within each farm type
and overall coherence between the sum of farm types and national level input
use and production.
On the farm level the quantification of each type has been validated
primarily by checking the coherence between land use, crop yields and
livestock production (e.g. the feed needed for the herd matches the home-
produced feed plus imported feeds less sold cash crops and the sum of
homegrown feeds and sold crops fits the land use).
At a higher hierarchical level the land use has been validated by
comparing the sum of each crop acreage over all types with national statistics
for the same year, e.g. checking that the total wheat area and total wheat yield
does not differ more than a few % from the national statistics.
Likewise, the total estimated use of inputs like diesel, fertilizer and
concentrated feeds across all farm types have been checked against statistical
information on national level. In case of differences that could not be ascribed
to an error in a specific type, a general correction factor was multiplied into all
types for the relevant input item.

Inputs and outputs

Inputs and outputs associated with production processes at eight
different types of diary farms in year 1999. Data are provided per farm per


Table 1. Milk production.
No. of Average milk Average butter
Country of origin Lactation
cattle production kg fat %
New Zealand 1 541 2948 4.3
2 594 3580 4.3
3 532 4003 4.3
4 159 4257 4.3
5 222 4187 4.3
USA 1 482 3013 3.2–3.7
2 357 4280 -
3 252 5405 4.4
Denmark 1 119 4434 3.9
2 64 5123 4.0
Australia 1 6 4472 -
2 3 4058 -
Guangdong black 1 984 4238
and white 2 710 4797
3 656 5110
4 422 5146

Table 2. Reproductive performance.

Number of Conception rate at Conception rate per
cattle one heat % year %
New Zealand 1132 57.2 91.7
Denmark 499 56.4 89.8
USA 1816 41.5 81.1
Guangdong black
1639 56.9 86.7
and white

Table 3. Body weight (kg).

Birth 3 months 6 months 12 months 18 months
weight of age of age of age of age
New Zealand 31.1 107.8 154.2 251.5 316.7
Denmark 35.6 - 138.9 267.9 340.9
USA 35.8 92.2 185.9 281.6 415.5
Guangdong black
34.5 - - - 345.7
and white

The major beef breeds in Denmark are:

 Limousine
 Simmental (beef)
 Hereford
 Angus
 Charolais
 Blonde d Aquitaine,

In Denmark there are about 1,740,000 cattle, out of which

625,000 are dairy cows, that give more than 4.4 billions kg of milk per

The distribution of the total number of dairy cows within

Per 1000 19 199 199 199 199 199 199 199 199 199 2000
unit 90 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1-9 cows 10 10 11 8 6 5 5 3 2 2 2
10-19 57 48 40 31 24 21 19 15 11 11 8
20-29 10 95 74 70 59 55 49 39 25 25 23
cows 5
30-49 26 255 244 225 216 197 178 154 136 115 97
cows 3
50-74 19 204 208 215 220 230 230 218 211 187 166
cows 7
75 cows 12 130 135 165 174 195 219 246 283 300 339
and 1
In all 75 742 712 714 699 703 701 670 669 640 635

The diagram above shows that the total number of cows has been falling
over the years, and the farms have grown bigger (the small farms
disappear). The reason the farms grow bigger is that it’s too expensive to
run farms with a small number of cows (the expenses are bigger than the

The Dairy cows breed distribution and yield in percent

kg % % kg kg
% milk fat protein butter protei
fat n
Red Danish 11.9 6,624 4.30 3.50 285 232
Dairy Cow
Black Brindled 64.2 7,067 4.21 3.29 297 233
Danish Dairy
Jersey 15.2 4,893 6.38 4.03 312 197
Danish Red 0.8 6,249 4.07 3.37 255 210
Brindled Cattle
Other Breed 7.9 6,437 4.52 3.46 291 222
In all/Average 100 6,628 4.48 3.41 297 226

Red Danish Dairy 9.0 7,456 4.21 3.57 314 266
Black Brindled 70.0 8,257 4.13 3.35 341 277
Danish Dairy Cow
Jersey 12.3 5,709 5.99 4.06 342 232
Danish Red 0.9 7,280 4.27 3.43 311 250
Brindled Cattle
Other Breed 7.8 7,361 4.42 3.50 325 258
In all/Average 100 7,792 4.32 3.45 337 269

As you can see in the statistics, the number of Black Brindled

Danish Dairy Cows is growing every year, and the number of the other
cows is decreasing. The reason is that the Black Brindled Danish Dairy
Cow is the most advantageous for Danish farming. As you can also see
the amount of “kg milk” per year is growing. That is caused by the
growing number of Black Brindled Danish Dairy Cows, which yield
more milk. Finally you can see that the amount of “kg butter fat” and “kg
protein” is growing, but that is simply because there is more milk!
We asked a Danish farmer chosen at random what his cows get to
eat each day.
These figures are per cow:

Rape-cakes 4.9kg
Beet-pills 1.5kg
Pea-silage 13.4kg
NH3 processed straw 0.5kg
Mineral with E-vitamin 0.1kg

Salt (NaCl) 0.05kg

Corn-silage: 20.3kg
Concentrates type B 2kg
All together 42.75kg
Water 75kg
All together with water 117.75kg

It has to be said that these are figures of Black Brindled Danish

Dairy Cows, which is quite a big cow. That is, if it had been a Jersey cow
it wouldn’t eat so much.
We also asked him about which diseases are most normal for
Danish dairy cows. He said that the most common disease is an
inflammation of the udder (mastitis) Furthermore he told us that the case
of illness is 1,2 cases per cow per year.
The cows conditions in Denmark are very good, because the
majority of the cows live in loose houses. Loose housing is when the
cows can go freely around inside the cow house. Loose housing is good
for cows’ welfare.
We can conclude that the stock of cows is falling every year,
meanwhile the average yield per cow goes up. This is caused by the
growing efficiency in the Danish farming methods. Major farms can
produce much more than minor inefficient farms.


Most of the dairy cattle are fed in-doors. In order to let the cattle adapt
to the tropical climate and also to give high milk production, people have paid
much attention to site selection, housing construction, dairy cattle management
and disease prevention and cure.

Dairy cattle farm site selection

In the selection of farm sites, they have not only to consider those items
such as prevention of sickness, transportation and communications, water
supply, excrement and urine management and so on, but they specially select
and construct a farm on the top of a hill, where the air flow is good and the
manure, after fermentation in a manure pit, can be used to irrigate grassland
around the farm automatically by gravitation through irrigation canals.

Housing design
In the past, most of the cattle houses had walls with doors and windows.
Now, most of the cattle houses are open and they have only a big roof made of
alloy, which is good for heat radiation. In windy areas, the roof may be made
of cement.

Feed and feeding

Elephant grass is most important for cattle in Guangdong province
because it can produce 8,000–15,000 kg of grass per Mu (1/15 of a hectare).
Some of the farms plant a small area of stylo for calves. In the winter and
spring season, they supply corn and elephant grass silage, and sometimes they
also supply Chinese cabbage and sweet potatoes. Some of the farms supply
grass hay the whole year round. In the concentrate, corn makes up about 40–
50% and by-product feed ingredients such as wheat meal and soyabean meal
make up about 30–50%. They also supply sufficient amounts of minerals, salt
and some necessary trace elements. Most of the dairy cattle farms feed their
cattle according to the feeding standards provided by the government. Sin-Tun
dairy cattle farm uses a complete diet self-feeding system and gets very good

Dairy cattle management

The farmers do their best to avoid heat stress and foot rot in the cattle.
Some of the farms lay bricks on the ground in the yard and some of them put
sand down. Most of the cows' bedding is made of cement. Some of the farms
have fixed bedding, with about 20 cm depth of sand in it, and some have a
carpet on the bed to make the cattle comfortable. They put a water supply in
the house, as well as outside, so that water is available all the time. Most of the
farms have electric fans in the milking parlour as well as in the cows bedding
area. Most of the farms let the cows have a shower once or twice a day and, in
hot seasons, they use the shower two or three times a day.
Many dairy cattle farms are using milking machines to milk their cows.
Chu-Cuen, Kwan-Ming and Sin-Tun dairy cattle farms are using herring bone
milking parlours with fully automatic milking machines and the milking time
per cow is only 8 minutes. They can machine-milk 12 to 20 cows at one time
and have therefore raised their labour efficiency and produce very hygienic
Management of bull calves
In many countries, young calves are sold for veal during the first few
days of life but in our province, because the price of milk is very high and
because most of the people cannot afford very expensive veal meat, most of the
bull calves are slaughtered at birth.

Housing systems

Cattle can be housed under very different conditions. The welfare of the
animals in a given system will depend on details in design.

The feed manger must be placed at least 5-20 cm (2-8 in.) above floor
level to allow easy access to the food. The back of the manger must be low
enough so that it does not hamper the species-typical range of action during
feeding and the forward movements of the animal when getting up.

In the group-housing system there must be enough feeding space so that

all animals can eat at the same time. The width of the individual eating place
must correspond to the size of the animals and the size of their horns. Adequate
bars to separate cows and reduce competitive interactions at the manger are
important. Feeding barriers which can separate and restrain the animals at the
manger can be used with advantage during handling procedures. However,
restraint should be avoided as far as possible.

Cows have a fairly constant need for rest. The resting area should be
relatively soft and well heat-insulated to account for the fact that the animals
spend a major portion of the time lying. Therefore, all animals should have free
access to comfortable resting sites on a bedded floor at all times. Straw
bedding is a species-appropriate resting material for cattle and should be used
whenever possible.

Group-housed animals must have sufficient space allowance to avoid

agonistic conflicts arising from situations in which rank-dependent social
spacing is impossible. There should always be at least one lying place (e.g.,
one cubicle) and one eating place per animal in order to forestall competition
and minimize aggression.

It is extremely important to make sure that the walking areas are dry and
not slippery so that the animals can walk without the risk of losing their
balance and possibly injuring themselves. Walking areas used as traffic and
exercise areas should be wide enough for the animals to freely pass one
another. Competition exists around food and water, therefore these sites should
allow enough space for avoidance.

The dimensions of cubicles and tie-stalls must meet the cow's spatial
requirements when she stands and lies and when she is getting up or lying
down. It should be remembered that cattle need free space in front of them so
that the whole sequence of the getting-up behaviour can take place

Cattle are ruminants, which means that they chew their feed twice. At
first the feed is only chewed slightly and swallowed together with relatively
large quantities of saliva. When the stomach is full, the animal will often lie
down and start ruminating: The feed is regurgitated and chewed up again
whereupon it is swallowed. Ruminants are furthermore characterized by a
gastric system containing a large fermentation chamber, the rumen, where
microorganisms facilitate the digestion of cellulose and other fibrous parts of
the food.
This special digestive system implies that from the age of 2-3 weeks
calves need fibrous feedstuffs (grass, hay, silage, straw, etc.). When the
rumination process is fully developed at the age of eight weeks, the feed for
cattle ought to include at least 20% fibrous material and preferably more. The
lack of structural feed or extremely restrictive feeding may cause the
development of oral stereotypies such as tongue rolling and bar-biting due to
frustration or thwarting of foraging and ruminating behaviour. Free access to
roughage is therefore essential for the welfare of cattle.
The requirements for fluids in cattle are relatively high. Even calves given milk
during the first 6-12 weeks of life need free access to water. The young calf has
a very high suckling motivation which is particularly stimulated by the taste of
milk (Passillé et al. 1992). Hence, it is preferable that the milk is given from a
sucking pail or that the calf has "access" to a dry teat .The opportunity to
suckle milk reduces the incidence of non-nutritive suckling on equipment and
pen mates, and hence decreases the risk of the formation of bezoars (hair balls)
and the development of behavioural disorders


The history of the Danish dairy industry goes back several hundred
years and for many years Denmark has been a major and highly efficient
agricultural producer with one of the highest agricultural yields in the world,
approximately 6000 kg per cow annually.
The conditions for dairy farming in Denmark are excellent. The mild
climate during spring and summer combined with a lot of rain and very fertile
soil are ideal factors for dairy cattle.
The efficiency, experience and expertise of Danish farmers place
Denmark among the world's five largest exporters of butter and cheese.
The production of healthy products of high quality has always been the
target. In order to ensure products of uniform quality, production is under
government control and based on very strict legislation.
Denmark, for instance, was the first country in the world to eradicate
bovine tuberculosis as well as contagious bovine abortion and in 1986 a
comprehensive program was initiated with the aim of completely eradicating
the viral disease IBR.
The Danish dairy industry has the skill and technical capability to adapt
its products and services to the demands of any country or even to create new
types of cheese according to the needs of a market. It is with justification
therefore that Denmark holds
the title




 A article from “Cattle Breeders Association Of Denmark”.

 Article on “Feeding dairy cattle in tropical regions”


 Saville CA 1983. The feeding behaviour of calves in different

systems of husbandry. Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Applied Animal
Ethology 11: 75 (Abstract).
 The American Jersey Cattle Association, 6486 East Street,

Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Internet:

Briggs, Hilton M and D.M. Briggs. 1980. Modern Breeds of
Livestock. Forth Edition, MacMillan Company