Discuss the major areas around the world where Commercial Dairy Farming is practiced as main economic activity.
The major commercial dairy farming regions around the world lie in the temperate zones, though some activity is carried out in cities of tropics also. The leading areas in commercial dairy farming include North America, North-Western Europe, Eastern Australia & New Zealand. With the advent of the modern methods of dairy activity tropical countries like India have also developed dairy activity during the last few decades, though our exports are very low due to huge domestic demand.
United States and Canada are among the leading producers of dairy products in entire world. One of the major area of commercial dairy farming in North America stretches along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. This region consists mainly of the mild, humid valleys of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon and the less humid valleys of California. Farmers in this area specialise in the production of fresh milk and cream for the large urban markets.
Northwest Europe has the most developed dairy activity in the world. Among the European countries, Denmark has the most outstanding country in dairy farming because of several reasons. Firstly, a well-distributed rainfall and rather cool summers and mild winters provide conditions suitable for growing forage crops, raising livestock and marketing dairy products. Secondly, crop rotation is practised there to maintain fertility of cropped land. Both manure and chemical fertilizers are applied in large amounts to maintain high productivity.
Dairy farming is a leading occupation in Sweden, Norway and the Balkan states also. Besides meeting the domestic requirements, all these countries export butter. Ireland and northern France are well-known for their excellent butter. The highlands of southern France are famous for their quality cheese. Another country in Europe with a well-developed dairy industry is Switzerland.
South Temperate Regions
Dairy farming has developed in many areas in the Southern Hemisphere also but production from these districts is relatively smaller when compared to the large dairy zones of the Northern Hemisphere. Most of the production from the southern temperate regions is consumed locally or regionally, and Australia and New Zealand account for sizeable surplus for export. Among the countries of the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand is the most outstanding dairying nation in spite of the fact that it lies farthest from the large markets of Europe. In fact New Zealand ranks among the leading exporters of cheese and butter in the world. Australia, Argentina and South Africa are the other important dairying countries in the Southern Hemisphere.