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Land productivity

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development uses the Alberta land productivity index to measure progress in land management. Wise land management is essential to produce good yields of healthy crops to feed Albertans and the world.

The index is calculated yearly based on the amount of major cereals, oilseed and forage crops in tonnes. To allow for differences in the relative weights of different crops, production per acre for each crop is converted to a standard base - tonnes per acre of wheat equivalent yield. This allows for productivity comparisons without the need to worry about differentiating between crop choices.

The index shows that crop yield has grown steadily over the last 45 years, with improved land management practices. Crops use nutrients from the soil in order to grow and produce seeds. Farmers use manure (stinky stuff!) and chemical fertilizers to replace the nutrients to meet the needs of the next crop. The increase in crop yields shows that farmers are successfully improving land productivity.