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Agricultural Land Use

Surrey ALR

Agricultural land use inventory

The BC Ministry of Agriculture conducted an Agricultural Land Use Inventory for the City of Surrey in 2010, and released a report in 2013.

The inventory encompassed all land within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), and some land adjacent to the ALR.

The ALR in Surrey consists of 9,290 hectares, with 93% of the ALR surveyed, consisting of a total of 8,670 ha and 1,743 parcels, with the remaining 620 ha being in road rights of ways, foreshore, or parcels less than 100 square meters in size. An additional 1,388 ha was surveyed outside of the ALR.

Land Use Inventory Summary

Land Cover and Farmed Area

A total area of 4,886 (53%) was farmed (both actively and inactively), 1,422 ha was anthropogenically modified (15%), and 2,362 ha was in a natural or semi-natural state (25%). An additional 430 ha outside of the ALR were farmed.

Land Use and Farm Use

Land use in the ALR included 5,706 ha (61%) defined as “Used for farming,” and 2,964 ha (32%) defined as “Not used for farming”.

Availability of Land for Farming

A total of 4,827 ha (52%) of the ALR was actively farmed, and 2,465 ha (27%) of the ALR was available for farming. Of that 27%, 649 ha occurred on parcels that are already “Used for farming” and 1,816 ha occurred on parcels not “Used for farming.”

Farming Activities

Crops: The top 3 crops were forage and pasture at 2,362 ha (or 25% of the ALR) followed by berries at 1,407 ha (15%) and vegetables at 585 ha (6%). Greenhouses (vegetable, floriculture, nursery and mixed) covered less than 1% of the ALR.

Livestock: Inventory showed that equines (horses) were the most common type of livestock activity, followed by poultry and beef. There were 33 intensive poultry activities in Surrey and 24 non-intensive activities.

On Farm Value Added:On-farm value added activities were only observed on 8% of all parcels “Used for farming.” These included: 2 agritourism activities, 57 parcels with direct sales (33 seasonal stores/stands, 3 permanent stores/stands, and 3 U-picks), and 3 parcels with processing (1 crop, 1 meat, and 1 wine/cider processing).

Condition of ALR Lands

Analysis found that 61% of the parcels are less than 4 ha in size, but they make up only 18% of the total area. Most of Surrey’s ALR is in larger parcels. The majority of the parcels “Not used for farming” are less than 4 ha in size.

Residential uses occurred on 805 parcels, and 375 of those parcels were “Not used for farming”. Houses greater than 3,500 sq. ft. in size were found on 107 parcels and one third of those parcels (36 parcels) were “Not used for farming”. 

Complete Surrey Agricultural LUI Reports and Mapping

Contact us at Agriculture@surrey.ca for more information on agriculture and farming in Surrey.