Speaker shares details of farming in Denmark

OREGON - Government regulations limit the amount of nitrogen, pesticides and herbicides farmers in Denmark can apply to their fields, agronomist Birte Boelt told nearly 300 members of the Oregon Ryegrass Growers Association Tuesday.
calendar icon 19 January 2007
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Alex Paul/Democrat-Herald. Former State Rep. Liz VanLeeuwen, left, a Halsey-area grass seed grower, introduces Danish agronomist Birte Boelt to Brownsville dairyman Peter Jensen, who emigrated to the U.S. from Denmark in 1953.

Boelt, an agronomist with the Danish Institute for Agricultural Sciences, was among several speakers during the association’s 46th annual meeting held at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. She is no stranger to Linn County and works closely with Mark Mellbye of the Oregon State University Extension Service. Boelt visited several area farms and the university during her five-day stay in the mid-valley.

Danish farmers are efficient, Boelt said. Although there are five million Danes, its farmers produce enough food to feed 15 million people. Two-thirds of the country’s ag products are exported throughout the European Union, which includes 25 countries. About 18 percent of the exports go to Germany, Denmark’s neighbor to the south.

“The majority of our exports are animal products such as butter, cheese, beef, pork and poultry,” Boelt said. “Only 2 percent of our exports are grains.”

There are 40,000 farms in Denmark, of which more than half are considered hobby farms. They average 143 acres. Soil types vary widely due to the effects of ice ages. Grass seed is usually sown in April and harvested in July or August. Other crops include wheat, spring barley, canola, maize, sugar beets, potatoes and seed crops.

Source: Albany Democrat Herald

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