According to smber, agriculture, which could feed about 2.5 million, that is about 40% of the population, compared to about 80% that fed in the middle of the century. XIX, will have to, in the future, and despite severe competition from industry, be regarded as the basis of existence for Sweden. However, it changes in importance and characteristics in the various regions of the country and has considerably developed and intensified over the last fifty years. The intensification was made possible by the improvement of domestic animals and seeds and by a more widespread knowledge of the rational agricultural economy. Agriculture has therefore undergone a radical transformation; in fact, the uniform and extensive cultivation of cereals with double or triple rotation, export of cereals and import of animal products, it has developed into an intensive rotation crop with a significantly increased production of fodder, which has resulted in a continuous increase in the export of animal products and the import of grain. This development is explained by the increase in the cultivated area (50% since 1870), a development which only means that the ancient natural meadow, which previously gave most of the fodder, has been transformed into an artificial meadow. Development is highest in Norrland (100%) and lowest in Scania (25-30%), already well cultivated since the mid-century. XIX. increase in the cultivated area (50% since 1870), a development which only means that the ancient natural meadow, which previously gave most of the fodder, has been transformed into an artificial meadow. Development is highest in Norrland (100%) and lowest in Scania (25-30%), already well cultivated since the mid-century. XIX. increase in the cultivated area (50% since 1870), a development which only means that the ancient natural meadow, which previously gave most of the fodder, has been transformed into an artificial meadow. Development is highest in Norrland (100%) and lowest in Scania (25-30%), already well cultivated since the mid-century. XIX.
The climate of Sweden is not the most favorable to agriculture: little rainfall during the first summer, too much during the harvest, short vegetative period. However, the harvests, referred to the unit of surface, are very remarkable in comparison with those of other countries; the peaks occur in the coastal areas of southern Sweden, especially in Scania. In addition to rational cultivation, this is due to the considerable extent of marine clays and the presence of local moraines rich in limestone (Scania and Östergötland). Major agricultural regions of Sweden are also the lowlands of Scania, Östergötland and Lake Mälar, and partly also the islands of Öland and Gotland and the plains around Lake Väner.
Overall, there is a very well defined difference in characteristics between the agriculture of Norrland and that of southern Sweden with a large intermediate zone between 60 ° and 61 ° lat. N. The difference probably depends on the climate: a period of vegetation that is getting shorter and shorter towards the N., and the autumn frosts of Norrland which only allow the cultivation of potatoes, early barley with rotation every 6 years and a little oats and above all the production of fodder on eight or ten year old meadows (more than half of the cultivated area). Agriculture is applied in free rotation Norrland and the boundary between multi-year rotation and natural grass is not well marked.
In southern Sweden, plateau agriculture resembles that of Norrland; the poorer soil and the more continental climate favor oats and grazing together with natural grass. Cultivation in southern Sweden is based almost everywhere on alternation, with successions of up to seven or eight years and with short rotations and plenty of room for wheat, green fodder and tubers. During development, and in connection with the increased cultivation of tubers, fallow land has been reduced and reaches its largest area in central Sweden (10-15%) and the smallest in Scania (less than 5%). But here the tubers instead – p. eg sugar beets – cover an area of about 10%.
Of the cereals used for bread making, wheat and rye are especially cultivated. The area cultivated with wheat has more than sixfolded since 1870, while that of rye has decreased by about 35%. This is certainly to be attributed to the growing preference for wheat (the consumption of each resident has also increased six times), but it was only achieved through the support and defense measures of the state. Around 1880 the cultivation of wheat was saved by high protective duties. Wheat prices fell rapidly on the world market at that time, and this resulted in a significant reduction in grain cultivation in the neighboring countries of Sweden. In recent years, the obligation imposed on the milling industry to mix Swedish cereals with flour and the withdrawal by the state of other cereals, they have reduced the import of wheat to almost a fifth of what it was in the first twenty years of the century. XX (the import of wheat was about 45,000 tons in 1934). A quarter of the grain is produced in Scania, a third in Östergötland and around Lake Mälar.
About one third of Sweden’s cultivated area is cultivated up to Pajala at over 67 ° lat. Rye is grown up towards this parallel. It is produced in surplus and is very evenly distributed throughout the country, but in Norrland only over small areas; it is the grain of small farmers and is generally destined for the worst and leanest soils, especially in the vicinity of Kristianstad and Kalmar, where a large part ends up in spirit factories. In the southern Swedish plateau, with its poor soil and continental climate, the most profitable is the cultivation of oats. The area under oat cultivation in Sweden has expanded somewhat since 1870 and the harvest, of which about one fifth is exported, has increased fivefold. In the rest of the country oats are grown all over and over large areas, including in the coastal area of Norrland. Barley is grown in Norrland, Scania, Öland and Gotland; in the north it is cultivated with a rotation every 6 years, in the south with a three-year rotation, for the preparation of the malt.
In addition to meadow hay, large areas are cultivated with mixed cereals for forage (barley, oats, vetch or beans), especially in the regions with intensive rotation (Scania, Östergötland and north of Lake Mälar, 15-20% of the cultivated area). For this purpose, tuber plants (turnips and turnips) are also grown in these regions, especially in Scania. In the more intensively cultivated regions, a large part of the forage grown is also used as fresh forage in stables or as pasture (especially in Scania). Sweden has not only more than doubled its fodder production, but has also increased its imports of corn, semolina and oil panels in recent years. It seems that Sweden has now reached, after half a century of importation, a production sufficient for itself, not only for wheat,
Sweden’s economy has always relied heavily on animal products (butter, cheese, beef and pork). The production of butter is the most important and since 1880 the export has grown a lot, from just 5000 tons. in 1870 up to more than 20,000 tons. in 1920 and to 23,000 tons. in 1934. From 1910 onwards Sweden can also export large quantities of pork (in 1934 about 19,000 tons). The number of cows has almost doubled since 1870. Furthermore, following the improvement of the breed, the production of milk has almost doubled, starting from 1890, when work on the improvement of domestic animals began. Milk production per cow varies greatly from region to region: the highest is in southern Sweden, the lowest in Norrland. In southern Sweden, especially in Scania, the lowland breed is generally bred, very rich in milk, but in most of the rest of the country the Ayrshire breed and the Swedish red spotted breed dominate. In Norrland lives a special breed that gives little milk but is very rich in fat (Shorthorn breed).
The cows now make up, as around 1870, ⅔ of the cattle; the number of oxen, most of which live in the southern Swedish plateau, has decreased by one tenth. Young beasts and calves have increased considerably; there were 480,000 around 1870 (ie 20% of cattle) and today they are about 1,000,000 (33%). The best agricultural regions are also the richest in cattle. Sheep and goats decreased by half (in 1932 approximately 468,000 and 49,000 respectively); sheep are more numerous in the southern Swedish plateau, goats especially in Norrland and Dalecarlia. Horses (about 660,000 in 1934) are mainly used in Norrland and in the plateau of southern Sweden for shooting and are proportionally more numerous in these regions.
The cultivated land of Sweden, which is rented out for only a quarter, is mostly worked by the proprietary peasants. Only one fifth belongs to large owners (of more than 50 hectares), almost half belongs to medium owners (from 10 to 50 hectares), while small owners own a third of the area. Large owners prevail in Scania, Östergötland and the lowlands of Lake Mälar; smallholders especially in the southern Swedish plateau and in Norrland. A different type of production corresponds to the various division of the land: the small owners are especially concerned with animal products; only large owners can grow large quantities of bread cereals, particularly wheat, with their greater means.