Alfalfa Seed Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Alfalfa Seed Market is segmented by Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Africa). The report offers market estimation and forecast in value (USD million) for the above-mentioned segments.

Market Snapshot

Alfalfa Seed Market Size
Study Period: 2017-2027
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: North America
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: 6.5 %
Alfalfa Seed Market Major Players

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Market Overview

The alfalfa seed market is projected to register a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period (2022-2027). The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the working of several markets, including the alfalfa seed market. The pandemic affected the manufacturing process and supply chain networks, resulting in major losses for forage companies and farmers as well. It has affected the production, certification, distribution, and cost of seeds, which play an important role in the growing stages of the agricultural cycle. Another issue is the shortage of personnel in documentation processes which is causing problems for international trade and has made access to high-quality seeds of modern varieties for domestic agriculture difficult.

Livestock production accounts for one-third of the global cropland and is also competing for water, land, energy, and labor, which is challenging. Alfalfa seeds can be one of the solutions to overcome the challenges and for better production of livestock. Alfalfa has more protein levels, minerals, and vitamins, as well as it has a low portion of starch compared to unsprouted seeds. It gives additional nutritional levels to livestock which helps in increasing the production and meeting the demand for milk, meat, eggs, and other dairy products.

Using hybrid alfalfa seeds, high-quality fodder for animals can be produced, thereby providing a better yield in less land, as compared to the non-hybrid seeds production within the same land. The growth in livestock production is likely to create a demand for better forage crops, as there is a high demand for better-quality meat. Farmers prefer hybrid seeds in order to increase crop production. Generally, the land allocated for forage crops is less, as compared to other crops. Thus, the use of hybrid seeds is increasing rapidly in order to overcome challenges, like diminishing cropland and less yield. As the resources and land available for animal food production are less, the best way is to grow fodder is by using hybrid seeds. Owing to its high versatility, alfalfa has been used as hay, silage, grazing, green-chop, or rotation crop. The forage seed industry, including that for alfalfa seeds for sowing, is flourishing in developed regions, where the availability of quality forage seeds is high. Moreover, farmers are willing to pay for the high prices of seeds. The growing demand for forage crops can only be supported with better-quality forage seeds. One-third of the cropland is used for livestock production, but the land for grazing is decreasing, which is a major driver for using alfalfa seeds and other forage crops for live stocks. Thus, the decreasing land for grazing and increasing awareness of the nutrition levels of alfalfa will drive the alfalfa seed during the forecast period.

Scope of the Report

Alfalfa, also known as lucerne or Medicago sativa, is a plant that has been grown as feed for livestock. Alfalfa is a part of the legume family, but it is also considered a herb. Its seeds or dried leaves can be taken as a supplement. It is cultivated as an important forage crop in many countries around the world. It is used for grazing, hay, and silage, as well as green manure and crop. The alfalfa seed market is segmented by geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Africa).

North America
United States
Rest of North America
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
Rest of Asia-Pacific
South America
Rest of South America
South Africa
Rest of Africa

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Key Market Trends

Growing Livestock Population

Livestock is among the world’s largest users of land resources, with grazing land and cropland dedicated to the production of feed representing nearly 80% of the total agricultural land. According to the FAO, feed crops are grown in 1/3rd of total cropland, while the total land area occupied by pasture is equivalent to 26% of the ice-free terrestrial surface. Around 80% of the world’s grazing lands are open lands, i.e., pastures devoid of forests or dense human settlements. Pastures have always been and will continue to be a source of forages and nutrients for dairy cattle, including heifers, dry cows, and the milking herd. Livestock is a major factor responsible for the growth of global agriculture. The world food economy is being increasingly driven by the shift in diet and food consumption patterns toward livestock products. Owing to the increasing awareness regarding protein and healthy food and the inclination of consumers toward the inclusion of healthy food in their diets, the demand for dairy products and healthy meat is increasing, which is resulting in the demand for alfalfa forage crops. Livestock production accounts for one-third of the global cropland, and it is also competing for water, land, energy, and labor, which is challenging. Alfalfa seeds can be one of the solutions to overcome the aforementioned challenges and for better production of livestock. Alfalfa has higher protein levels, minerals, vitamins, and low starch, as compared to unsprouted seeds. It gives an additional nutritional level to livestock, which helps in increasing the production and meeting the demand for milk, meat, eggs, and other dairy products.

Currently, the increase in demand for sustainable agriculture is driving farmers to adopt low-cost and efficient integrated nutrient management systems. This, in turn, is increasing the demand for high-quality hybrid alfalfa seed usage across the world. Moreover, the low fertility and inefficient management of soils have been major productivity challenges among smallholder farmers. This can be mitigated by the usage of high-quality alfalfa seeds. The growth in livestock production is likely to create a demand for better alfalfa crops, as people are extremely concerned about the quality of meat they consume. The growth in the demand for good crops can only be supported with better quality alfalfa seeds. This boosts the demand for alfalfa seeds across the world.

Alfalfa Seed Market Trends

North America Dominates the Global Market

North America dominates the global alfalfa seed market. The United States is the leading country in the global alfalfa seed market, followed by Canada. Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Canada, Argentina, China, Peru, Algeria, and Sudan are the top importers of alfalfa seeds from the United States. California, Idaho, Washington, Nevada, Montana, and Wyoming are the major alfalfa-producing states in the United States. Alfalfa seed is the queen of forage seeds and is the fourth most valuable field crop in the United States behind corn, sorghum, and soybeans. Due to its crude protein content, the use of alfalfa hay is considered beneficial, particularly for cattle feed. Cattle production is the most important agricultural industry in the United States. The increased demand for beef is expected to fuel the demand for alfalfa seeds in the country. More than 85% of the production of alfalfa seeds occurs in these northwestern states of the United States, and relatively lesser are grown in the southwestern states. Canadian alfalfa imports are significant, with large quantities destined for Ontario and Quebec. In Mexico, apart from the dairy farms, the premium quality alfalfa seed is also in demand for the racehorses. The demand from horse owners has increased significantly in the country over the years. Moreover, seed giants' increasing investments are expected further to elevate the sales of alfalfa seeds in the region.

Alfalfa Seed Market Growth

Competitive Landscape

The alfalfa seed market is fragmented. Around 50% of the market is accounted for by various small companies that are involved in the production of alfalfa seeds. DLF International is one of the most active companies in the global alfalfa seed market, as it is highly involved in various acquisitions, product launches, and partnerships in order to consolidate its position in the market. Other major active companies are Alforex Seeds and S&W Seeds. These major players are investing in new products and improvisation of products, expansions, and acquisitions for business expansions. Another major area of investment is the focus on R&D to launch new products at lower prices.

Recent Developments

In February 2021, S&W Seed Company, in collaboration with Calyxt, announced an exclusive improved quality alfalfa seed in the US and other select areas. The gene-edited alfalfa seed will be branded as IQ Alfalfa (IQA) and sold as part of the S&W Seed portfolio.

In June 2019, DLF Seeds & Science entered an agreement to acquire PGG Wrightson Ltd, an international market leader in forage and turf seeds. The acquisition would further expand the company’s continued investments in alfalfa seed research and new product developments.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Drivers

    2. 4.2 Market Restraints

    3. 4.3 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.3.1 Bargaining Power of Buyers

      2. 4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      3. 4.3.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.3.4 Threat of Substitutes

      5. 4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Geography

      1. 5.1.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

        4. Rest of North America

      2. 5.1.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Spain

        5. Italy

        6. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.1.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. Australia

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.1.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America

      5. 5.1.5 Africa

        1. South Africa

        2. Egypt

        3. Rest of Africa


    1. 6.1 Most Adopted Strategies

    2. 6.2 Market Share Analysis

    3. 6.3 Company Profiles

      1. 6.3.1 Alforex Seeds LLC

      2. 6.3.2 DLF International Seeds

      3. 6.3.3 La Crosse Seed

      4. 6.3.4 S&W Seed Company

      5. 6.3.5 Bayer

      6. 6.3.6 Dyna-Gro Seed

      7. 6.3.7 Forage Genetics International

      8. 6.3.8 Allied Seed LLC

      9. 6.3.9 Corteva Agriscience

      10. 6.3.10 LG Seeds



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Frequently Asked Questions

The Alfalfa Seed Market market is studied from 2017 - 2027.

The Alfalfa Seed Market is growing at a CAGR of 6.5% over the next 5 years.

North America is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2021.

Alforex Seeds LLC, DLF International Seeds, La Crosse Seed, S&W Seed Company, Bayer Cropscience are the major companies operating in Alfalfa Seed Market.

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