Hay Market Research: Germany

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Hay Market Research: Germany, Part 7 (A)

Hay production is a widespread, commonplace activity throughout Germany that is expected to grow substantially in the region for the foreseeable future. Not only is hay production a significant component of the country's economy, but it is also a cherished part of Germany's cultural heritage. A more detailed analysis of Germany's hay industry is provided within the enclosed spreadsheet, as well as within the following summary.

Overview

  • Hay production is a markedly widespread activity in Germany, and is embraced in different fashions across all regions of the country, per the 2019 Sustainability Report published by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI).
  • For most farms in the country, hay production must occur on relatively "restrictive" land plots, leading to a unique level of efficiency and intensity in growing practices.
  • However, hay producers in the eastern part of the country enjoy substantially larger fields and farms, as well as more accommodating dry climates, and have therefore developed a regional hay culture of their own.
  • Although somewhat dated research from agricultural trade Farm Equipment reports that the dairy cow industry was historically one of the major "drivers" of Germany's hay production, the latest research published within MDPI found that the hay industry currently exists "mainly for horse keeping and small pets."
  • Similarly, hay harvesting practices in the country have evolved significantly over the years, and are now "mostly mechanized" throughout Germany.
  • Only under very specific conditions (e.g., steep slopes, biodiversity preservation needs, heritage reasons) is grass still cut manually in the country.

Growth

Competitors

Themes

  • Meanwhile, an important theme or trend that is relevant for new product launches in Germany's hay industry is the fact that hay production in the country is not just an economic imperative, but a cultural one.
  • The continued prevalence of more traditional harvesting and storage techniques including hay heaps, haystacks and hay barracks is perhaps the first indication of Germany's nostalgia for its longstanding hay production history, per MDPI.
  • In particular, Germany is one of the few European countries wherein "pre-industrial hay-making structures" are maintained for their "high cultural and aesthetic value."
  • Even in cases where these structures are no longer able to function for their originally intended purpose, they are protected in many regions of the country as a "tool for maintaining the identity of the locations, and for supporting tourism and the cohesion and vitality of local communities."
  • Moreover, rather than replacing defunct hay-making structures, many have been "repurposed" for other local uses, such as storage for different materials, hay hotels (e.g., East Frisia), holiday apartments or houses for daily living.
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