Hay Market Research: Germany

Part
01
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Part
01

Hay Market Research: Germany, Part 1

An overview of the hay market in Germany is provided in Columns C — I of the attached spreadsheet. The top exporting country of hay from Germany is Switzerland. Germany exported 116.88 thousand metric tons of hay in 2018. A summary is below.

Amount of Hay Exported Annually

  • In 2018, Germany exported 116.88 thousand metric tons of hay.

Countries to Which Germany Exports Hay

  • Tridge states that Germany exports hay to Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Italy, France, Belgium, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
  • The top exporting destination of hay from Germany are Switzerland (26.6%), Netherlands (6.9%), and Austria (5.5%).
  • According to TrendEconomy, Spain also imports hay from Germany.

Total Number of Animals

  • Germany has 4.2 million dairy cows and 0.7 million suckler cows.

Research Strategy

The total hay produced and the total market value figures are not publicly available. Information on the total number of acres of hay planted and the average hay harvested per acre is also not publicly available. To identify the information, we first examined government sources such as Bundesriegerung and market research databases for pre-compiled data. This strategy was not successful. Next, we used the Google Translate tool to find the information, but no relevant information was found. We were, therefore, not able to verify the total hay produced figure already entered in the spreadsheet.


Part
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Part
02

Hay Market Research: Germany, Part 2

The forage market in Germany has been steadily growing in the last several years. In terms of cultivated land, reygrass and fescues dominate the forage production, with 106895 hectares of grassland. However, the alfalfa forage holds the biggest share in terms of revenue. All the relevant information has been included in the attached spreadsheet.

Notes

  • In 2019, reygrass and fescues dominated the forage production in Germany with 106,895 hectares of grassland.
  • Alfalfa hay holds the biggest share of the German forage market in terms of revenue.
  • 155,800 hectares of oats were cultivated in Germany in 2019, of those 57%, or about 88,806 hectares, are used as forage for animals.
  • In 2019, there were 4.53 million hectares of meadow and pastures.
  • In 2018, grass seeds occupied 28,300 hectares of arable land.
  • We also found a 2005 sources by the Food and Rural Development in Alberta discussing the hay production in different regions around the globe, including Germany.
  • In 2003, 6 metric tons of alfalfa was cultivated in Germany.
  • 4,845 metric tons of fescues were cultivated in 2003 in Germany.
  • In 2003, Germany produced only 47 metric tons of orchard grass.
  • 15,814 metric tons of orchard grass were produced in 2003.
  • Germany produced 1,237 metric tons of timothy grass in 2003.
  • In 2003, Germany also produced 203 metric tons of vetch hay and 164 metric tons of Kentucky bluegrass as well as 414 metric tons of clover.

Research Strategy

We focused our research on government databases and industry reports. The German Census provides a breakdown by agriculture product but they did not specify the yield of the different types of grass hay. Additionally, Mordor Intelligence, while providing some helpful information on the forage market in Germany, was not specific enough in the total land cultivated by the different dominant forage plants like reygrass, fescues, and alfalfa. The European Commission also provides information on the total yield per plant for the major producers in the European Union but Germany was not considered a major producer for any of the hay plants. As such, we were forced to use information from 2003 provided by the Food and Rural Development in Alberta discussing the hay production in different regions around the globe, including Germany.
Part
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Part
03

Hay Market Research: Germany Part 3

While round bales have been more popular in Germany, the industry is moving toward square bales. Available information on the market share of different hay forms in Germany can be found populated in columns Y-AE of row 9 of the attached spreadsheet.

Findings

  • Round bales are the most popular type in Germany. They are typically 1 meter in diameter and 300 kg in weight and are mostly used to feed dairy cows. Germany has the largest dairy cattle herd and the second-largest cattle population in the European Union."
  • Small high-pressure bales are popular with zoos, horse and small animal keepers as they are easy to carry. They typically weigh 30 kgs.
  • Lohnunternehmen, a German magazine, asked 100 contractors about the press technology they used. Collectively, the 100 contractors distributed 682,000 round bales and 969,000 square bales of straw, silage, and hay.
  • The number of contractors producing round bales in small quantities (less than 2,000 bales) was more than the number of contractors producing square bales in small quantities.

  • Even though sources indicate that round bales are more popular, the more square bales are produced than round ones. We assume this is owing to the fact that small square bales are also counted as single items (this is not explicitly mentioned in the source). In terms of weight, round bales would be more prevalent.
  • Only one in 15-20 images of hay products posted on the Landwirt, a marketplace for hay, is that of a wrapped bale.

Research Strategy

As Germany's Agricultural Census did not provide information on the market share of hay forms, we searched industry portals, bale manufacturer websites, baler pressing machine websites, marketplaces that sell hay, and research reports for the same. However, as there was no quantitative information found on the subject except for a survey by Lohnunternehmen magazine, we have mostly provided qualitative data.
Part
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Part
04

Hay Market Research: Germany, Part 4

In Germany, the majority of the hay produced in the country is used back by local farmers to feed their livestock and is produced by larger farms. A small part of the produced hay, about 103,666 tons, is exported to neighboring countries. All the information has been entered in the attached spreadsheet.

Notes

  • According to the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the majority of the hay produced from cereals and grass pastures/meadow is used by livestock farmers.
  • In fact, as the demand exceeds the total production of food for the livestock, Germany has to import several million tons of protein from Brazil and other countries.
  • According to Trend Economy, however, Germany does export about 103,666 tons of hay per year.
  • However, since the total production of hay, which amounts to more than 40 million tons, is completely used by dairy, pig, and poultry farmers, we can assume that roughly 100% of the total production of hay is used by local farmers.
  • According to the Dutch Census, the majority of the farmland, roughly 97%, is occupied by large farms.
Part
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Part
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Hay Market Research: Germany, Part 5

The research focuses on the consumption of hay by five groups of animal species in Germany. There is very limited information on their consumption of hay as clarified in the research strategy underneath, hence they are calculated based on the heads of animals and their daily consumption of hay. For more details, please see the following findings and refer to the attached spreadsheet, row 9, columns AM-AR.

Helpful Findings

Dairy Cows

  • In Germany, there were approximately 4.2 million dairy cows and on average a cow eats 30-40 pounds of hay per day.
  • The annual consumption of hay per dairy cow is estimated at approximately 10,950 to 14,600 pounds (30 poundsx365 days, 40 poundsx365 days). The total annual consumption of hay by diary cow is estimated at 45.99 to 61.30 billion pounds (10,950 poundsx4.2 million, 14,600 poundsx4.2 million), which is equivalent to 20,860,696 to 27,805,190 metric tons per year (45.99 billion poundsx0.000453592, 61.30 billion poundsx0.000453592).

Beef Cattle

  • In Germany, there were 8.7 million beef cattle (including 0.7 million suckler cow) and on average each beef cattle consumes 20-33 pounds of hay per day.
  • The annual consumption of hay per beef cattle is estimated at approximately 7,300 to 12,045 pounds (20 poundsx365 days, 33 poundsx365 days). Beef cattle's consumption of hay per year is estimated at 63.51 to 104.792 billion pounds (7,300poundsx8.7million, 12,045 poundsx8.7million), which is equivalent to 28,807,628 to 47,532,813 metric tons per year (63.51 billion poundsx0.000453592, 104.792 billion poundsx0.000453592)

Equine

  • In Germany, there were 406,269 horses in 2018 and each horse on average eats 15-20 pounds of hay per day.
  • The annual consumption of hay per horse is estimated at 5,475 to 7,300 pounds (15 poundsx365 days, 20 poundsx365 days). The total consumption of hay by horses per year is estimated at 2.22 to 2.97 billion pounds (5,475 poundsx406,269, 7,300 poundsx406,269), which is equivalent to 1,006,974 to 1,347,168 metric tons per year (2.22 billion poundsx0.000453592, 2.97 billion poundsx0.000453592).

Sheep and Goats

  • In Germany, there were approximately 1.6 million sheep in 2019 and on average each sheep eats 1.5 – 5 pounds of hay per day.
  • The annual consumption of hay per sheep is estimated at 548 to 1,825 pounds (1.5 poundsx365 days, 5 poundsx365 days). The total consumption of hay by sheep is estimated at 876.8 to 2,920 million pounds (548 poundsx1.6 million, 1,825 poundsx1.6 million), which is equivalent to 397,709 to 1,324,489 metric tons per year (876.8 million poundsx0.000453592, 2,920 million poundsx0.000453592).
  • In Germany, there were approximately 141,000 goats in 2019 and on average each goat consumes 2-4 pounds per day.
  • The annual consumption of hay per goat is estimated at 730 to 1,460 pounds (2 poundsx365 days, 4 poundsx365 days). The total consumption of hay by goats is estimated at 102.93 to 205.86 million pounds (730 poundsx141,000, 1,460 poundsx141,000), which is equivalent to 46,688 to 93,376 metric tons per year (102.93 million poundsx0.000453592, 205.86 million poundsx0.000453592).
  • The total consumption of hay by sheep and goats per year is estimated at 444,397 to 1,417,865 metric tons per year (397,709+46,688, 1,324,489+93,376).

Pets

  • In general, small and exotic animals, such as rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas, eat hay. In Germany, there were approximately 6.1 million small mammal pets in 2018.
  • In general, the amount of hay that small mammals could eat varies and they should be supplied with quality hay. There is no fixed amount of hay that a rabbit should be given each day, as rabbits are constantly supplied with hay several times a day. A guinea pig should eat at least 1 oz of hay per day and a chinchilla could eat 10 grams (0.3527 oz) of hay a day.
  • The annual consumption of hay by a small mammal pet is roughly at 128.7 to 365 oz (0.3527 ozx365 days, 1 ozx365 days). The total consumption by small mammal pets is estimated at 785.1 to 2,226.5 million oz (128.7 ozx6.1 million, 365 ozx6.1 million), which is equivalent to be 22,258 to 63,121 metric tons (785.1 million ozx0.00002835, 2,226.5 million ozx0.00002835 million oz).

Research Strategy

We reviewed a variety of industry databases, research reports and practical guidance by credible organizations. However, there is very limited information that directly addresses the consumption level per animal species as indicated in the spreadsheet. Based on the international standard for the consumption level per animal weight, the research team estimates the daily and annual consumption of hay by multiplying the number of heads per animal species with the most likely range of hay consumption. In the process, it is assumed that there are only two types of cattle, namely cow and beef. As there is a lack of concrete information on pets that eat hay, the research team uses small mammals/animals as a proxy of hay-eating pets.
Part
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Part
06

Hay Market Research: Germany, Part 6

Introduction

Hay that is grown and sold in Germany is most commonly sold as either dry hay or silage for animal feed. While some farmers buy as needed, others stockpile resources for winter or droughts. More detailed information related to how hay in Germany is valued, sold, and treated has been detailed in row 9, columns AS-AV of the attached spreadsheet. This data came from industry reports, news articles, and company websites. All sources used to identify this information is listed in column AV of the attached spreadsheet. Below is a brief overview of these findings.


Germany Hay Market — Selling Practices

  • German-grown hay is typically valued based on its use cases. While prices for dry hay and silage do increase due to dependencies in the weather such as droughts or cold winters, prices for feed often remain relatively stable. More information on this topic can be viewed in row 9, column AS of the attached spreadsheet.
  • Buyers of hay in Germany include farmers, pet retailers, international buyers, hay hotels, and even local government for festivals. More information on this topic can be viewed in row 9, column AT of the attached spreadsheet.
  • Fermenting dry hay into silage is a common practice prior to farmers buying hay in Germany. Silage makes for easier, long-term storage for hay, as well as a more nutritional food option for dairy cattle.
  • Dry hay is often molded into rectangular or round bales and stored in dark, dry, cool areas prior to being sold. More information on this topic can be viewed in row 9, column AU of the attached spreadsheet.
Please review column 9, rows AS-AV of the attached spreadsheet for more in-depth details on this topic.
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Part
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Hay Market Research: Germany, Part 7

The requested information for column AX is contained in the attached spreadsheet and a summary presented below.

Summary

  • Alfalfa hay market in Germany has been experiencing a high growth rate for the last few years. The growth trend is also expected to continue in the coming years. Estimates show that the alfalfa hay market in Germany will grow at about 3.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
  • In 2018, Germany exported 116,880 metric tons of hay.
  • The major players in the German alfalfa hay market are Anderson Hay, Bailey Farms, ACX Global, Aldahra Fagavi, Alfa Tc, and Grupo Oss, among others.

Research Strategy

We mainly relied on news articles and other credible publications to assemble the requested information. Although there numerous market reports focusing on the hay market in Germany online, all were behind the paywall.

Part
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Part
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Hay Market Research: Germany, Part 8

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the German hay industry have been presented in cell AY of the attached spreadsheet. Alfalfa hay demand is growing well due to its superior nutritional content. The German hay industry may struggle with competition from neighboring countries, though the food trend of hay milk could present an opportunity for hay producers.

Strengths

  • Alfalfa hay has become an integral component to poultry feed the last few years due to its crude protein content.
  • Dependence on hay for the poultry market is expected to fuel further growth.
  • Alfalfa hay is seen as a superior hay product due to its high nutritional content. Alfalfa hay contains 12-22% crude protein and is "more palatable" than grass hay.
  • In the past decade, European producers have been pushing big efficiencies for alfalfa hay production.

Weaknesses

  • Compared to North America, the available land for haying is much smaller and more restricted. This means producers must be efficient in order to be profitable, which could lead to smaller enterprises being less successful.
  • Availability of grassland has decreased from 22.3% in 2009 to 20.5% by 2015.
  • Geographically, Germany does present some challenges, as hay grown on steep slopes must be cut manually.

Opportunities

  • Alfalfa hay has also become increasingly popular for use in Western Europe for dairy cattle feed. High demand is creating opportunity for growth in the hay market.
  • The demand for high-value animal protein and increasing consumer standards for dairy are leading agricultural producers to turn to hay as a feed of high nutritional value.
  • The hay industry in Europe is pretty highly fragmented, which does mean the barrier to entry for smaller producers is less.
  • There is also some consumer food trends presenting opportunity to the hay industry, such as hay milk.
  • Hay milk is dairy milk produced from cows fed a premium diet and garners a higher price. Only 2% of surveyed German consumers purchase hay milk, meaning there is robust opportunity in the market for this premium product.

Threats

  • Competition is a threat to hay production in Germany. With the free market EU, producers in dominant countries like Spain may make it difficult for German hay producers to grow well.
  • Germany is not a main exporter of hay. The top countries are the US, Australia, Spain, Canada and Italy. This means most German hay is used domestically, meaning the industry can be threatened by other countries' production.
Sources
Sources