Environment Forum

The world’s most costly cows?

March 17, 2008

A Cow stands in her pen at the ‘Internationale Gruene Woche/International Green Week (IGW)’ fair in Berlin January 17, 2008. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele

Farm subsidies in many rich countries are high but the Norwegian $16-a-day cows have to be among the most astronomical examples.

The problem is that Norway wants farmers in the Arctic county of Finnmark to produce milk — but since it’s so cold for much of the year the herds have to live in heated barns and food has to be trucked in.

That’s clearly bad economics and far worse for the environment than cows grazing outside on grass.

The government argues that a Viking-style resolve to keep society going in remote Arctic regions means cows have to live in the barren north and that the alternative of closing down dairy farms and trucking in milk is worse.

According to a study by the Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute, the average subsidies for a dairy farmer in the high north totalled 503,586 Norwegian crowns ($98,720) in 2006. Each farmer looks after an average herd of 17 cows, so that works out at about $16 per cow every day.A cow searches for grass to graze on in a freshly snow-covered field in the Jura mountains in Vaulion near Lausanne November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND)

 In a world where more than a billion people live on less than a dollar a day in developing nations, those cows sound absurdly expensive.

Or are they worth it?

What do you think?

Comments
One comment so far | RSS Comments RSS

bet it ‘s top shelf milk.

Posted by Random Numbers | Report as abusive
 

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