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Over 11 percent of agricultural farmland in Denmark is used for organic production

23.01.2020 15:57 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U.S.Department of Agriculture attache in The Hague (Denmark), over 11 percent of agricultural farmland in Denmark (or 280,000 hectares) is used for organic production. This number is almost twice as high as the European Union (EU) average. Most of the organic farmland in Denmark is found in Jutland, the Northern continental part of Denmark. Last year, an additional 34,000 hectares of farmland were converted from conventional to organic farming.

The number of organic farmers also continues to grow. In 2018, this number grew by 325 to a total of 4,000 farmers. It is expected that more farmers will continue to convert from conventional to organic farming, driven by both economic reasons and consumer demand. According to a recent study by the Danish Agricultural Agency, when compared to conventional farming, organic farming improves the welfare of animals, prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides, and results in less nitrate runoff into the environment.

Before products can be sold as organic, however, organic farms must go through a conversion period which takes approximately two years. During this transition period, while farming practices are conducted according to organic standards, products cannot be sold or labelled as organic. Farmers also need to invest in new agricultural equipment and storage facilities while finding new clients for their products. Since the use of chemical plant protection is not permitted in organic farming, it can be labor intensive to keep organic fields weed-free.

While the size of individual farms varies, many of the organic farms in Denmark are highly specialized. Organic production in Denmark is dominated by the production of organic cereals, legumes, seeds, fresh produce, pork, beef, poultry, eggs, and milk. There are farms that also produce a diverse range of products for direct sale to the public through farm shops and online shopping, or through partnerships with local shops.

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