The global forage seed market is anticipated to grow over the forecast period, owing to increasing demand for forage seeds from agriculture and animal rearing industries. Rising poultry, swine, and cattle population for meat production is expected to be a major factor contributing to market growth. According to data published by UN, in 2017, meat production was pegged at 262 million metric tons, which was an increase of 4 million metric tons over the previous year.
Forage is relatively cheaper than most grain crops and therefore, farmers are increasingly focusing on adopting these. Forage is also used as a rotation crop, due to benefits associated with the use of these. The advantages include less disease in subsequent cereal crops, increased yields in subsequent crops, aid in improving soil quality, and reduces weed population thereby reducing the need for additional pesticide, fertilizers, and herbicide inputs in subsequent crop cycle.
The quantity and quality of meat, eggs, and milk from livestock is directly dependent upon the nutrition provided to the animals. With increasing awareness regarding nutrient intake of animals in animal rearing, high quality forage is gaining popularity in livestock rearing. These factors coupled with a growing global population, changes in food consumption habits such as increasing consumption of meat products in emerging economies such as India, China and Indonesia are some of the key factors driving growth of the forage seed market. According to WHO, rising disposable income in emerging economies is directly proportional to the meat consumption. Meat consumption is associated with several health benefits such as increased protein and macro nutrient intake. With rising income, incorporation of meat into diet has also increased. Brazil, China, and India have witnessed an increase in meat consumption over the last decade, although, the per capita consumption remains less than that in North America and Europe. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the per capita meat consumption in Brazil rose from 77.2 kg in 2016 to 78.6 kg in 2017. However, increasing availability of substitutes such as soybean hulls, beet pulp, and corn kernels are expected to be factors negatively impacting growth of the forage seed market.
Among product types, alfalfa is projected to be the largest segment, in terms of revenue share, over the forecast period. This is owing to advantages of the crop such as easy to grow as it requires low fertilizer and it also has favorable effect on livestock such as weight gain and reduced risk of contracting diseases, post consumption. According to European Union statistics, alfalfa is mainly produced in Italy, France, and Spain (40%, 21%, and 16% respectively, of the European Union’s alfalfa cultivated land in 2015). Hungary has also increased its surface area of production of alfalfa with 9,230 hectares, which is an increase of 47% from 2015.
Forage Seed Market - Market Taxonomy:
On the basis of product type, forage seed market is segmented into:
On the basis of livestock, forage seed market is segmented into:
North America held the largest market share of the forage seed market, in terms of value in 2016. Market growth of this region is attributed to increasing demand for forage products, which is fuelled by the increasing livestock population for meat. According to the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, animal feed production in the U.S. increased by 10% for sheep, 6.6% for cattle, and 3.7% for pigs in December 2017 compared to December 2016. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the total meat production in the U.S. and Canada for the year 2014 was pegged at 42.56 Mn Tons and 4.38 Mn Tons, respectively. Forage in the region is mostly utilized by landowners to help them manage soil fertility, grazing, and hay production in addition to brush & weed control in pastures and hay fields. Governments in the region are focusing on initiatives, in order to enhance production of alfalfa in the region. For instance, in February 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) invested US$ 2.1 million on R&D programs, which seek to improve alfalfa forage yield and adopt best practices pertaining to its cultivation. These programs are being organized under the Alfalfa and Forage Research Program (AFRP).
According to European Seed Certification Agencies Association (ESCAA), the total area cultivated with forage seeds in Europe was 373,040 hectares in 2016, which was a 15% increase over the previous year. Forage is used to feed domesticated animals, which are reared for their meat and milk. According to the European Dairy Association, the European Union accounted for a quarter of the world’s milk production in 2016.
Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region in the forage seeds market. China and India are the leading countries in the region, owing to increasing demand for meat products in the region. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), China is the major producer of pork meat with around 31.3 kg/capita pork meat produced in 2016, followed by poultry and beef.
Key Market Players:
Key strategies adopted by forage seeds players include mergers & acquisitions, product launches, partnership & agreement, and geographical expansion, in order to sustain in the competitive market. DLF— a Denmark-based forage seed supplier—acquired the assets of Gapp Semillas S.A. (Argentina), in February 2018, to increase its market presence in Latin America. In March 2018, KWS Saat S.E. launched maize forage varieties, with enhanced properties such as improved yield, high kernel content, and improved dairy production by cows on consumption of the forage.
Major players in the global forage seeds market include DowDuPont Inc., Monsanto Company, Land O’ Lakes Inc., Advanta Seed Ltd., BrettYoung Seeds Ltd., Royal Barenbrug Group, Imperial Seed Ltd., Allied Seed LLC, and Ampac Seed Company.
- In October 2017, a Denmark - based company, DLF Seeds has launched new varieties of alfalfa seeds to enhance its forage seed portfolio.
- In September 2016, Semillas Fitó, a Spanish multinational company had signed an agreement with Valley Seeds to launch new forage seeds in Europe.
- In April 2015, the two agrochemical companies – Syngenta and Forratec, headquartered in Switzerland and Argentina respectively had announced a partnership to supply specialized forage seeds that are protected by Plenus treatment technology.