Open main menu

Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/97

This page has been validated.
81
CHANGES CAUSED BY THE WAR

and in the summer of 1917 the number was the same as it was three years before; but in July 1918 the scarcity of provender had brought it down to 545,000.

With regard to cattle, also, it was necessary to take measures to prevent a too rapid reduction of their number, which in the summer of 1914 was 2,500,000. To this end an export duty on cattle was established in 1916 for the benefit of the home market. In the summer of 1917 the number of cattle had reached the earlier mark; but here also the scarcity of fodder brought about a new loss, reducing the number to 2,100,000 in 1918. Most striking, however, was the loss in swine, of which before the war we had 2,500,000. In the summer of 1917 we had only 1,700,000. Still, even this was more than we had in 1909; but the difficulty of getting feed, coupled with the bad harvest of 1917, caused a further decrease, so that in 1918, in spite of all efforts to stimulate hog-raising, the number had fallen to 621,000, or less than a fourth of the number of four years before.

The grave condition of Danish agriculture, and the effect it necessarily had upon the food situation throughout the entire country, may be shown by the commercial statistics. The net imports of unground wheat in 1913 totalled 132,000,000 kilos; of maize, 403,000,000 kilos. The wheat imports declined from year to year, and in 1917 they totalled only 35,000,000 kilos; and in the same year the maize imports totalled only 241,000,000 kilos.

Of oilcakes of all kinds the net imports in 1913 were 585,000,000 kilos; in 1917, only 154,000,000 kilos; the import of these goods was thus only a fractional part of what it was a few years before. The imports of fats for the manufacture of margarine, which had become an important article in most households, likewise gradually decreased; in 1917 they were between a fourth and a fifth of what they were in 1913. The decrease of imports was reflected in the exports of butter, which in 1917 were only two thirds of what they had been four years before. The imports of fertilizers were also