Alberta 2015 Greenfeed and Silage Production Survey Results

 
 
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Purpose of survey | 2015 production

Alberta 2015 Greenfeed and Silage Production Survey Results

Purpose of Survey

Greenfeed and silage production statistics for Alberta are not available from Statistics Canada or any other source, despite the fact that producers in the province harvest significant acreages of annual crops for greenfeed and silage every year. To fill this data gap and meet client needs, the Statistics and Data Development Branch of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) initiated a greenfeed and silage production survey in 2002. Since then, the survey has been conducted annually, to develop selected statistics for the forage industry.

As in previous years, the 2015 survey was conducted in partnership with Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC). The survey collected data on greenfeed and silage acreage, yields and production at the municipal level. The information was then used, along with input from AF specialists to develop provincial estimates. Just to note, the yield and production estimates in this report are on a wet weight basis.

Alberta 2015 Greenfeed and Silage Production

Crop growing conditions in Alberta during 2015 were mainly challenging for producers. The crop season in the province started with a dry spring and cool overnight temperatures followed by a hot summer with limited moisture which had an adverse impact on crop growth. As harvest progressed across the province, yields were higher than what was expected earlier in the summer. Pasture conditions remained poor and continued to show effects of the dry conditions during spring and early summer.


Total tame hay production in Alberta in 2015 was estimated at 5.0 million tonnes, based on the Statistics Canada report “Production of Principal Field Crops, December, 2015”. This was down 31.5 per cent from 2014, and 36.6 per cent below the 10-year average (2005-2014). The decline was attributed to a significant drop in yield, as well as a decrease in harvested area. The average yield declined 23.5 per cent to 1.3 tonnes per acre, while harvested area was down 8.1 per cent to 4.2 million acres.

In 2015, Alberta producers seeded an estimated 11.4 million acres of spring wheat, barley, oats, mixed grains, triticale and dry peas (see Table 1). Of this total seeded area, 92.0 per cent was harvested as grains and oilseeds (down 1.8 per cent from 2014) and 8.0 per cent as greenfeed and silage (up 1.8 per cent from 2014). Total area harvested for greenfeed and silage in 2015 was estimated at 919,976 acres, an increase of 32 per cent from 2014 (See Figure 1). Total area harvested for greenfeed increased 45.0 per cent to 438,219 acres, while silage acreage rose by 21.7 per cent to 481,757 acres. Producers harvested more greenfeed and silage mainly because of a significant shortage in hay production caused by the dry conditions in the province.


Source: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Challenging growing conditions during the 2015 crop season and low night temperatures in spring contributed to lower yields for both greenfeed and silage. Yields for greenfeed were relatively lower than the previous year due to dry conditions throughout the spring and summer. The estimated provincial average yield was 2.17 tonnes per acre, 14.2 per cent lower than in 2014. Provincially, greenfeed barley was estimated to average 2.16 tonnes per acre, down 24.2 per cent from 2014, while spring wheat averaged 1.82 tonnes per acre, down 6.7 per cent. Greenfeed oats increased 2.3 per cent to 2.63 tonnes per acre. The estimated provincial average yield for silage declined 34.3 per cent to 4.39 tonnes per acre. The yield for spring wheat silage fell 37.6 per cent to 3.83 tonnes per acre. Barley silage yield was down 36.0 per cent to 4.28 tonnes per acre, while oats declined 22.4 per cent to 5.20 tonnes per acre, mixed grain down 21.6 per cent to 5.32 tonnes per acre and triticale dropped 57.7 per cent to 3.10 tonnes per acre.

Despite a 14.2 per cent decrease in the average provincial yield, total greenfeed production increased 24.0 per cent in 2015, due to a 45.0 per cent increase in harvested area. The production for greenfeed barley was 355,143 tonnes (unchanged from 2014), while for oats it was estimated at 298,774 tonnes (up 22.4 per cent). Total silage production was estimated at 2.1 million tonnes, down 20.0 per cent from 2014. This reduction was the result of a 34.3 per cent decline in the average provincial yields for silage which more than offset a 21.7 per cent increase in harvested area. Barley silage production was estimated at 1.4 million tonnes (28.9 per cent lower than in 2014), while for oats it was estimated at 294,646 tonnes (down 13.9 per cent).

The major crops harvested for greenfeed and silage in 2015 were barley and oats, although many acres of spring wheat, mixed grains and triticale were also included. Barley accounted for 37.6 per cent of the provincial total harvested greenfeed area, while oats represented 25.9 per cent. Spring wheat accounted for 31.0 per cent and mixed grains accounted for 3.7 per cent. The remaining 1.8 per cent of total harvested greenfeed area was from triticale and dry peas. In terms of harvested silage area, 67.4 per cent of the provincial total was barley, 11.8 per cent came from oats, 10.9 per cent from spring wheat, 7.5 per cent from mixed grains, and 2.4 per cent from triticale and dry peas.

Estimates of greenfeed and silage production in Alberta for previous years, dating back to 2006, are also shown in Table 1.

For further information on the survey results, please contact:

Ashan Shooshtarian, Crop Statistician
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Economics and Competitiveness Branch
Statistics and Data Development Section
Telephone: 780-422-2887
Fax: 780-427-5220
Email: ashan.shooshtarian@gov.ab.ca



*Other crops include canola and dry peas. - Not available r - Revised Total my not add up due to rounding
Note: Yields and production are reported on a wet weight basis.
Source: Statistics Canada and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

 
 
 
 

Other Documents in the Series

 
  Alberta Greenfeed and Silage Production Survey Results
Alberta 2016 Greenfeed and Silage Production Survey Results
Alberta 2015 Greenfeed and Silage Production Survey Results - Current Document
Alberta 2014 Greenfeed and Silage Production Survey Results
Alberta 2013 Greenfeed and Silage Production Survey Results
Alberta 2012 Greenfeed and Silage Production Survey Results
Alberta 2011 Greenfeed and Silage Production Survey Results
Alberta 2010 Greenfeed and Silage Production Survey Results
 
 
 
 
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Ashan Shooshtarian.
This document is maintained by Samantha Wallbank.
This information published to the web on March 9, 2016.
Last Reviewed/Revised on March 23, 2018.