Delta has the highest concentration of greenhouses in the Lower Mainland but they still make up only a small percentage of the municipality's total farming base.
That's according to the latest Agricultural Land Use Inventory for Delta, conducted in the summer of 2010 and released late last year by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The inventory was funded in part by Metro Vancouver, and was completed with in-kind support from the Corporation of Delta and the Delta Farmers' Institute.
The inventory area included 8,843 hectares (21,842 acres) of ALR on 945 parcels, which is over 94 per cent of ALR land in Delta. The remaining six per cent was excluded from the inventory as it is in parcels less than 100 square metres, outside surveyed land parcels, in designated rights-ofway or foreshore.
According to the 2006 Census of Agriculture, almost 22 per cent of Metro Vancouver's total greenhouse area is in Delta.
The inventory found that greenhouses cover 152 hectares (375 acres), equal to about two per cent of Delta's ALR land.
There are 15 glass greenhouses with an average area of 10 hectares (25 acres). In contrast, there are 18 poly greenhouses with an average of one hectare (2.5 acres). All of the large greenhouses grow vegetables.
There are 6,532 hectares (16,134 acres) of cultivated land in Delta.
Field vegetables are the most common type of cultivated crop, accounting for 38 per cent of all cultivated land and 25 per cent of Delta's ALR.
Forage/pasture accounted for 2,149 hectares (23 per cent) of farm fields, while berries were at 1,241 hectares (13 per cent).
Within the field vegetable category, potatoes, bean, and mixed vegetables were the top three crops in terms of area. Within the berry category, blueberries, cranberries and strawberries were the top three crops.
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