Annual Forage Seed Usage Survey

Detailed information for July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022





Record number:


This survey collects data to better evaluate trends in the usage of forage seed varieties.

Data release - March 8, 2023


Results from this survey provide the industry and the government with information that improves policy making in the forage industry.

Reference period: The reference period starts July 1st of a given year and ends June 30th of the following year.

Collection period: Collection period for the survey starts mid-October and lasts until the end of January of the following year.


  • Agriculture and food (formerly Agriculture)
  • Crops and horticulture

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population for the Annual Forage Seed Usage Survey includes all known wholesalers of forage seed (approximately 50) in Canada. The list is updated occasionally from industry sources.

Instrument design

The questionnaire was developed by subject matter specialists through consultation with industry experts. Questions are revamped, added or removed as the need arises, provided proper Questionnaire Design Resource Center (QDRC) testing. Required changes are usually identified by subject matter specialist research and changes in market trends.

As of 2019, the questionnaire is offered in electronic format for use on Statistics Canada website. The survey can now be self-completed by respondents as well as on the phone with an interviewer.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Sampling unit:
The sampling unit is the enterprise.

Stratification method:

Sampling and sub-sampling:
It is a census, therefore all units of the population are participating in the exercise. No specific sampling is done.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2022-10-17 to 2023-02-07

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

This survey data is now collected using a web-based electronic version of the questionnaires. A letter or an email containing a Survey Access Code is sent to respondents to access their survey on-line. Follow up with an interviewer is also conducted using the computer assisted telephone interview method, in conjunction with the Business Collection Portal. The conducting of the interview is offered in both official languages.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Questionnaires are verified manually and compared to previous year's reporting. Questionable data is verified by telephone follow-up.


In the case of non-response, imputation is done using data from the firm's responses provided in the preceding year.


Since this is a census, the estimation is done by summing up all responses provided by respondents for each given category, after validation and imputation is performed on all records.

Quality evaluation

Disseminated data are subject to a certain degree of error such as incorrect information from respondents or mistakes introduced during processing. Reasonable efforts are made to ensure such errors are kept within acceptable limits through careful questionnaire design, editing of data for inconsistencies and subsequent follow-up and quality control of manual processing operations.

Data quality is maintained by editing techniques that are very rigorous. The data are also compared to previously reported estimates and other sources when available. Data discrepancies are either scrutinized by professional staff or the company(ies) involved are contacted.

Totals may not equal the sum of their parts due to the use of conversion factors or rounding of fractions to whole numbers.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Non-sampling error:
While considerable effort is made to ensure high standards throughout all stages of collection and processing, the resulting estimates are inevitable subject to a certain degree of non-sampling error. Examples of non-sampling error are coverage error, data response error, non-response error and processing error.

Data response error may be due to questionnaire design, the characteristics of a question, inability of unwillingness of the respondent to provide correct information, misinterpretation of the questions or definitional problems. These errors are controlled through careful questionnaire design and the use of simple concepts and consistency checks.

Non-response error is related to respondents that may refuse to answer, are unable to respond or are too late in reporting. In these cases, the data are imputed. The extent on any imputation error decreases with increases in the response rate and attempts are made to obtain as high a response rate as possible. The final response rate for this survey is about 80%. Analysts keep in contact with respondents and related industry associations to maintain a high response rate.

Processing error may occur at various stages of processing such as data entry, editing and tabulation. Measures have been taken to minimize these errors. Data entry and edit are performed simultaneously due to the spreadsheet design which allow errors to be seen quickly. Historical ratios also aid in eliminating outliers created by data entry. Tabulation is automated to eliminate human error.

Response rate:
The response rate for the Annual Forage Seed Usage Survey is approximately 85%.

Non-response bias:
In order to limit non-response and encourage participation, two letters are sent to the respondents with the questionnaire: one letter from Statistics Canada explaining the purpose and importance of the survey, and one letter from the client (Seeds Canada) supporting Statistics Canada in the conducting of the survey.

E-mail reminders are also sent out, up to four times, if a response is not received one month after the mail-out.

Coverage error:
In order to prevent coverage error, Seeds Canada is contacted to provide a current membership list.

Research is also done on the Business Register using the North American Industry Classification System codes to include any additional business involved in the wholesaling of forage seed.

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