Germany has around 12.9 million head of cattle in total, including 4.2 million dairy cows and 0.7 million suckler cows. Germany has the largest dairy cattle herd and the second largest cattle population in the European Union.
More than 40 breeds are kept of which 80% belong to the major breeds German Holstein black and white and red and white, the German Fleckvieh (Simmental) and the German Braunvieh (Brown Swiss). The remaining 20% are shared by eight local rare breeds and by about 30 beef breeds. The diversity of the cattle breeds also shows the differences of the regional climate and the fodder availability from the north to the south. In the north and east German Holstein black and white and German Holstein red and white are the most common breeds. In the south Simmental and Brown Swiss Cattle are dominant.
Cattle production in Germany has a long tradition, is well organized and in the breeding sector there is a lot of experience. This includes insemination on farms, milk production and slaughtering. The basis for sustainable breeding programs as well as for effective management on the farm are the high standards of the performance and quality testing of milk and dairy cattle. Around 2.6 million cattle are registered in herd books and 3.5 million cows are registered for milk recording.
With a production value of about 10.6 milliard Euro (2009) cattle production (milk and beef) contributes about 25 percent to agricultural output in Germany. Germany is the world´s largest exporter of breeding cattle and one of the leading countries in the export of bovine semen.
If you are interested to contact German exporters of breeding cattle, semen or embryos, please don´t hesitate to contact the German Livestock Association.