Today, Manitoba announced that it will temporarily reduce costs for farmers using Crown land for grazing, haying and yearly cropping.
The measure will bring the reduction rate up to 55 per cent from 33 per cent for the 2024 growing season.
Carson Callum, general manager with Manitoba Beef Producers, said he is pleased with the announcement.
“It’s a really positive step forward,” he said. “I think the rental rate reduction for another year will be very helpful for producers to weather the inflationary pressures.”
Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) also commended the move on X, formerly known as Twitter.
In a statement to Global News, KAP added that “increasing the rent reduction to 55 per cent will result in additional financial relief for MB cattle producers. We are hopeful this is the first of many efforts by the new government to work in collaboration with Manitoba producers, and to address their concerns with concrete actions.”
Premier Wab Kinew said the change in rent will keep about $2 million in the agricultural industry –money in the pockets of farmers.
“I think it (will) keep their head above water,” Callum said. Adding the extra funds in producer pockets will allow them “to look to the future and potentially reinvest some of their dollars back into the industry. Whether it’s infrastructure upgrades or growing their herd.”
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Kinew said agricultural Crown lands are important “economically, environmentally and socially, essential to supporting and growing the livestock industry in Manitoba,” and Callum agrees.
“Producers provide a lot of societal benefit for these public lands by maintaining that important habitat. It does many things for flood mitigation, drought mitigation, (and) fires, because they’re maintaining brush.”
Right now, the rent for the land is calculated to consider those things. But, Callum said, some adjustments need to be made for longer-term, sustainable impacts.
“I think that’ll be the next discussion we have with the Manitoba government, is how we can make the rental rate more sustainable moving forward,” Callum said
Agricultural Minister Ron Kostyshyn said the program will continue to be reviewed “to ensure it best serves Manitoba producers.”