The global forage seed market size was valued at USD 14.8 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 33.50 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 9.5% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Growing forage crops specifically for livestock grazing or harvesting them to help close seasonal gaps between feed demand and supply. To plant turf and lawns and sell to farmers who use the seed to plant hay fields and pastures, forage legume, and grass seed is grown. To ensure that their seeds meet weed content and germination requirements, growers of forage and grass seeds must employ special techniques. Farmers growing forage for animal feed companies and dairy farmers are the primary users of forage seeds. These seeds are created based on the types of animals that will eat them.
Forage seeds aid in enhancing and maintaining the soil's fertility and quality. Forage seed aids in lowering the price of nitrogen fertilizer and the energy required to apply nutrients. Plants or parts of plants other than grains used to feed livestock, such as cattle, poultry, fish, and swine animals, are known as forages. The product has several benefits, including fewer weeds, higher yields, fewer diseases in succeeding crops, more profound and larger carbon ponds for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, better internal drainage, and water filtration.
|Market Size||USD 33.50 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
The demand for food has risen globally due to a large population and recent growth in consumer income. Due to consumer demand, milk and milk products hold the lion's share of the market within the livestock products category. As people become more aware of milk's health benefits and the increased demand for protein, there is an increase in the consumption of animal products like milk and meat on a global scale. The market for forage seed is being driven by the high demand for quality products, which is also driving the demand for quality feed. Farmers select high-quality forage for their cattle to get high-quality products from them.
The constant adoption of technology, which makes it easier to manage larger herds of cows for scalable profit, is the driving force behind the booming dairy industry. More feed concentrates are anticipated to be used to support higher yields. Dairy production and feed quality were elevated as a national priority by the government in 2008 due to a widespread food safety scandal focused on dairy products in China. Additionally, central planners have made a significant effort to develop and improve the production of forage seeds in response to the rising demand for grass and forage. Along with improving yield, nutrient-dense forage seeds like ryegrass, brassicas, chicory, and clover feed cattle the proper diet. As a result, their sales are anticipated to increase over the forecast period. Farmers prefer high-quality forage crops for their cattle to produce high-quality milk and meat, and the market for meat and dairy products is growing, boosting the market for forage seeds.
Due to evolving production techniques and a focus on the forage market as a source of profitable sales rather than the soybean and corn markets, more farmers now favor alfalfa forage. Increasing alfalfa acres, however, requires being responsive to market conditions, technological requirements, and whether the agricultural fields are suitable for a robust forage crop. Due to the low corn and soybean futures prices in the US, some farmers are now considering alfalfa as a crop that will be more profitable this year. Additionally, contract seeding and harvesting operations are available in many American regions. As a result, farmers do not need to spend much money on equipment for planting and harvesting alfalfa; instead, they can outsource these tasks. This factor might contribute to an increase in forage crop production during the anticipated period.
Large-scale range-land vegetation patterns, forage quality, forage quantity and reliability, and water requirements for forage crop cultivation could all be impacted by climate change. The primary productivity of forage crops and rangelands would be the most obvious impact of climate change. Compared to developed countries, developing countries are more susceptible to climate change. Due to their economies being dominated by agriculture, their warmer average climates, and their lack of resources to adopt newer technologies, this scenario is possible.
Additionally, due to managerial negligence, grazing lands—often referred to as "wastelands"—on which tree plantations must be made or which can readily be diverted for other uses have been suffering. Unpleasant invasive weed species like Lantana, Eupatorium, Parthenium, Prosopis juliflora, etc., have severely harmed the productivity of many grazing lands. Due to global variations in rainfall distribution during the growing season, forage production is anticipated to be severely impacted. These factors restrain the global forage seed market, which threatens foraging growers.
The demand for organic forage is anticipated to rise significantly as organic livestock farming continues to gain ground on the market. A period of low forage seed production results from using cool and warm seasonal forages, primarily in rotation throughout the year. Since these varieties can be grown all year long, the manufacturers of organic forage seeds view this as an opportunity. Due to the rising demand for meat and beef, the livestock industries worldwide are expanding quickly. Major forage seed companies are anticipated to benefit by expanding their operations to serve the sizable market, which will present growth opportunities.
The forage quality is essential to some of the top companies from nations like the United States, Italy, and Spain, who actively participate in the entire supply chain network, from sourcing, logistics applications, and shipping to distribution and marketing. The expansion of plants is increasingly financed by larger companies, which is driving the forage seed market's growth. For instance, Advanta Seeds' Pacific Seeds brand invested USD 2.6 million in Australia's Toowoomba in 2019 to upgrade its seed processing facility. Both the efficiency of the plant and the seed quality are anticipated to increase as a result of this investment.
The region segmentation of the global forage seed market includes North America, South America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and MEA.
North America is forecasted to command the regional forage seed market while proliferating at a CAGR of 8%. The market for forage seeds in North America is primarily driven by the United States. Forage seeds were in higher demand in the region due to rising global demand, particularly from the Middle East. Alfalfa hay is one of the main exports from the United States. In 2020, the top five countries to which forage seeds were exported were China, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. Forage seed sales have increased dramatically due to an increase in research and development by several national companies. In the corn belt in the northwest of the United States, for instance, AgReliant Genetics opened a research and testing expansion center in 2019 focusing on corn hybrid production.
After corn, sorghum, and soybeans, alfalfa seed is the most valuable field crop in the US and is known as the "queen of forage seeds." The use of alfalfa hay is thought to be advantageous because of its crude protein content, especially for cattle feed. The country's demand for forage seeds is anticipated to increase due to the rising demand for beef. The demand-supply imbalance, low prices, and high production cost significantly impact the cattle inventories and subsequent demand for forage seeds for feed. Therefore, it is anticipated that the forage seed will expand during the forecast period due to expanding meat consumption and dairy production.
Europe is predicted to hold USD 11,706 million, expanding at a CAGR of 7.75%. A significant contributor to the region is Germany. The best conditions for producing natural beef are found in Germany. Companies engage in active agricultural management to produce forage following annual needs, considering cattle population, age, and category. For example, the FAO reports that meat production increased from 1,543,866 metric tons in 2019 to 1,526,652 metric tons in 2016. The demand for forage will rise as meat production rises, expanding the forage seed market. Productivity is increased by evolving technologies for producing higher-quality seeds. Climate change has recently affected the agricultural ecosystems in Germany and worldwide. The past years witnessed an increase in the frequency of extended hot weather and drought, severely stressing most crops without precipitation.
The global forage seed market is classified based on crop type, product type, and region.
Per the crop type, the segments are Cereals, Legumes, and Grasses.
The cereal section is projected to advance at a CAGR of 7.95% and holds the largest revenue share. Among the cereal category, forage corn is the most preferred. Maize forage is a high-energy source of food for ruminant livestock, mainly when it includes the stalks, leaves, and ears. While it is necessary to harvest grass forages almost every month, maize forages that mature in three months are only harvested once and don't require a lot of labor or expensive machinery. Forage corn and, by extension, the forage corn seed are more in demand due to their low maintenance requirements and nutritional benefits. In times of scarcity, grazing whole maize plants provide livestock with green fodder (dry and hot summers and winters). For smallholder-owned livestock, maize forage is a valuable feed source in harsh environments with limited forage. Thus, maize serves as a substitute for fodder, raising the demand for forage corn seeds, particularly in areas with a lack of water.
The legume section will hold the second-largest share. Among the legumes category, alfalfa is the most preferred. The perennial legume alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is widely cultivated to produce high-quality forage in the forms of hay and silage, as well as, to a lesser extent, as a grazing crop and to increase soil fertility. Because of its extraordinary capacity to produce abundant amounts of nutrient-rich, palatable forage in various soil and climatic conditions, alfalfa has earned the moniker "queen of forages." Alfalfa is a cool-season legume, but compared to other cool-season species, it is more drought tolerant due to its deep root system. Adding a livestock enterprise can diversify the farm operation and stabilize farm income.
Per the product type, the segments are Fresh Forage and Stored forage.
The fresh forage section is forecasted to hold the largest revenue share, expanding at a CAGR of 7.65%. Meadows and pastures for grazing livestock make up about two-thirds of the world's agricultural land. Due to their high nutrient content, fresh forages are thought to be beneficial for the health of animals but are only sometimes available. As a result, they are more expensive on the market than other forages. Most forage grasses are eaten as fresh forage, including sorghum Sudangrass, bermudagrass, orchardgrass, and ryegrass.
The stored forage section will hold the second-largest share. Depending on the region, hay is frequently made from mixtures of grasses like ryegrass, timothy, brome, fescue, Bermuda grass, orchard grass, and other species. Hay may also contain legumes like clovers and alfalfa (lucerne) (red, white, and subterranean). Hay's production costs are also higher, particularly in North America and Europe. Therefore, it is anticipated that the hay forage market will expand during the forecasted years due to rising consumer demand for animal products.