Agricultural Land Use Inventories

Agricultural Land Use Inventories (ALUI) collect consistent, credible, and comprehensive data about land use and land cover on agricultural land. ALUIs describe how B.C.’s agricultural land is used and include details on crop type, irrigation, livestock, and land use and non-farm uses in the Agricultural Land Reserve. 

This information can assist with agricultural planning including promoting agricultural development and handling issues important to strengthening farming. The ALUI provides baseline information that can be used to track trends in agricultural land use and to measure changes over time. It also quantifies the amount of land currently used for farming and the amount of land that may have potential for farming expansion. ALUI data can be used for many purposes including strategic planning at the local, regional, and provincial level, informing emergency response, and supporting research initiatives.

B.C.'s Agricultural Land Use Inventory Program

Survey methods and current fieldwork

Agricultural Land Use Inventory methods focus on observable land covers and activities which are mapped from orthophotography and confirmed by a field “windshield” survey from public roads during the growing season. Surveys are currently being conducted in the following areas:

Across BC’s diverse regions, the Ag Focus system is used to capture consistent and compatible data while surveys are conducted in a few different ways to suit the unique mix of crops, lot sizes, and constraints upon survey observations. Over time, the ALUI program has gradually made improvements to survey methods but always maintaining a focus on surveying legal parcels to enable comparison of data over time.

  • AgFocus: Field Guide (PDF, 2.1 MB) – contains land cover and land use classifications that form the basis of the ALUI

ALUI projects and products

Each year, one or more regions of the province are newly surveyed or updated by an Agricultural Land Use Inventory. Each project is intended to support local or regional government agricultural planning, or to provide baseline data for the province. ALUI data is then communicated in reports, requests for analysis, and processed to support other initiatives including the Agriculture Water Demand Model. Check each region for completed survey reports and more information.